Justice written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Labour, Hayes and Harlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) what recent estimate he has made of the level of serious organised crime involving drug trafficking in prisons in England and Wales;

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of serious organised crime activities being carried out in prisons in England and Wales.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 5 March 2010, Hansard, column 1470W.

Covert criminal activity is, of its nature, very difficult to quantify. Prisons have a well established security information reporting framework. Where concerns are identified about a prisoner's potential criminal activity, prisons can draw on a range of measures to identify and disrupt that activity.

The National Offender Management Service is also fully engaged in action to address serious and organised crime strategically, including the work identified in the Government report "Extending Our Reach: A Comprehensive Approach to Tackling Serious Organised Crime" to develop a strategy to manage serious organised criminals whilst in prison.

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