FEAR of the radicalisation of prisoners has been discovered among staff at nearly all of Britain's jails, Shipley MP Philip Davies has discovered.

For months he has sought answers from the Government and now it has revealed that staff at 130 out of 136 prisons have registered concerns about prisoner radicalisation.

The Prisoner Officers' Association (POA), which represents staff, has praised Mr Davies for highlighting the issue and said it was "shocked" by the findings.

Conservative MP Mr Davies uncovered the information through a Freedom of Information request and said tackling the issue must be a priority for prison chiefs.

He said: "The fact that the potential radicalisation of people who have already broken the law in a serious enough way to end up in prison is so widespread is obviously of huge concern.

"Those who are currently using prison as a breeding ground for their extremist views need to be cut off and prevented from encouraging the radicalisation of other prisoners."

He added: "The prison service needs to do everything in its power to stop these most dangerous individuals, because failing to do so could obviously have the most serious consequences imaginable."

The information was released by the Ministry of Justice after Mr Davies had previously been told it was inappropriate to do so.


In its response, the MoJ, pointed out the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) requires staff to report any suspicious behaviour, including apparent and suspected extremist behaviour.

"The reporting process identifies prisoners who, from the behaviour they exhibit in custody, appear to hold extremist views or who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, religious or otherwise," it said.

" NOMS assesses that a significant proportion of those exhibiting apparently extremist behaviours do so to disguise or excuse anti-social or criminal gang behaviours or to attempt to manipulate the prison system.

"For this reason it would be unwise to draw a conclusion that all the prisons who have received reporting around extremism and radicalisation actually have a serious problem in this regard."

A Prison Service spokesman added: "There are currently a range of measures in place to tackle extremism - proactively logging concerns about potential extremist behaviour or those vulnerable to radicalisation is a key part of that process.

"These figures should not be misinterpreted - they reveal the early reporting process is working well and in no way suggest every prison which has logged a potential concern has a problem with radicalisation."

But a POA spokesman said:" We are shocked that only six prisons did not have any concerns.

"Mr Davies has demonstrated there is much to do and the Government and NOMS need to address this urgently."

Four women’s and Young Offender Institutions; Styal in Cheshire, Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire, East Sutton Park in Kent and Low Newton in County Durham, along with two male prisons Swansea and Prescoed/Usk, both in Wales were the only sites not to report problems.