259 Indians languish in British jails
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259 Indians languish in British jails

Official figures say Indians constitute some of the highest numbers of foreigners in overcrowded British jails.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 20:35 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

There are 259 Indians and 444 Pakistanis in jails in Britain, constituting some of the highest numbers of foreigners in overcrowded British jails, latest official figures reveal.

According to the figures, the number of foreign prisoners in England and Wales is rising four times faster than British inmates. One in every seven inmates is now a foreign national. Britain has prisoners from 168 countries.

Since 2001, the number of foreign nationals in jails has risen from 6,926 to 10,834 - an increase of more than 50 per cent. In the same period, the number of British prisoners has risen by 12 per cent to around 66,000.

Jamaica tops the table of foreign prisoners (1,564). Nigeria has the second largest contingent, followed by the Irish Republic, Pakistan, Turkey and Somalia.

Officers said the huge number of foreign inmates, many of whom did not speak English, was making the policing of prisons more and more difficult.

Brian Caton, general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, said, "Increases of this nature result in huge cultural and language difficulties in our prisons. We are ill-prepared, ill-trained and quite incapable of meeting the needs of many of these prisoners."

The Home Office said, "We are aware that there are people in prison who ought not to be there, including foreign nationals, those with mental health issues and vulnerable women. We have outlined our intention to remove these where appropriate."

Ten countries with the highest numbers in Britain's jails are: Jamaica 1,564 (1,430 men, 134 women), Nigeria 890 (709, 181), Irish Republic 649 (603, 46), Pakistan 444 (436, 8), Turkey 294 (291, 3), Somalia 284 (274, 10), India 259 (251, 8), Iraq 241 (241, 0), China 226 (194, 32) and Ghana 200 (170, 30).

First Published: Sep 14, 2006 20:35 IST