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Intelligence Initiative Targets Gang Operations In Prison

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Intelligence Initiative Targets Gang Operations In Prison

Post by Ted-Pencry on 11/1/2013, 19:50

A pioneering intelligence sharing initiative between police, the local probation trust and the prison service is enabling officers to disrupt gang related activity operating within prisons.

The prison information sharing protocol was drawn up after officers at South Yorkshire Police were approached by representatives from the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) to devise a way of monitoring and managing gang members during their prison sentences to mitigate dangerous alliances being formed as well as the potential for criminal activity being carried out within prisons.

It provides the force, probation trust (part of the national probation service) and prison service with a single unit dedicated to gathering and sharing intelligence on gang members, starting from when they are brought into custody.

The initiative aims to detect, deter and disrupt continued gang related behaviour while the person is in custody or from being arranged within the wider community within the four prisons in South Yorkshire.

Once an identified gang member enters the prison system the probation trust team will notify the police prison intelligence team of the detainee’s details and any partnership information on them. The team then notify the prison of the potential threat and risk associated with the person to enable the database to be updated.

The prison service can then carry out a risk assessment on the threat the person poses to other inmates or themselves and implement preventative measures where appropriate.

Information on the gang member will be fed back to the police prison intelligence unit who will update district and departmental officers on any alliances they form with people associated with other gangs as well as any other activity.

The development of the protocol, which became operational in October 2012, follows gang member Nigel Ramsey organising the death of Tarek Chaiboub from Sheffield in 2008 from his cell at HMP Wolds in East Yorkshire.

Explaining the initiative, which is the first of its kind in the country, Insp Glen Suttenwood, of the force’s gang enforcement team, said: “It tightens up the information sharing and intelligence gathering between the agencies and harnesses the benefits of partnership working.

“It enables us to bring together what we know about an individual or group across all agencies and in effect share the pieces of the puzzle.”

“We need to have that dialogue to stop criminal activity and prevent those intent on continuing this behaviour whilst serving a custodial sentence, yet support and encourage an alternative to life in the gang culture.“

Insp Suttenwood added: “Before this initiative it was not always the case that the prison service would be aware of a gang nominal being held within their establishment unless their own process discovered this information.

“This had the potential for relationships and networks developing in the prison between members of different gangs, both locally and nationally and for these relationships to continue and support long-term cross border criminal activity.

“This initiative gives us real insight into those gang members that chose to continue their criminal activity enabling us as a partnership to put either preventative or enforcement interventions in place.”

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