Prison staff in top security jails in Britain are confronting a growing gang culture with groups of Muslim inmates seeking to assert their authority on the wings.
A prisons watchdog report published today provides fresh evidence of the extent of gang activity among inmates jailed for the most serious crimes and of the growing proportion of Muslim inmates held in high-security conditions.
Twenty five per cent of the 430 population of Long Lartin top security jail in Worcestershire are now Muslim, according to an inspection report by Dame Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons.
Prisoners told Dame Anne during her inspection that offenders at the jail are converting to Islam because they want the protection of belonging to a big Muslim group. One inmate quoted in the report said:"Yes, there is a gang culture here which is becoming an issue. A lot of people are becoming Muslim just because it a bigger group."