British prison population reaches record high

August 12th, 2011 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 12 (IANS) The prison population in England and Wales reached a record high Friday, the justice ministry said.

The total number of prisoners hit 85,931 - 353 more than the previous record of 85,578 set in July, the Independent reported citing a ministry statement.

The government has said there will be enough jail places for anyone sentenced to custody as a result of the violence and looting that have swept across the country over the past week.

“We will always ensure there are sufficient prison places for offenders sentenced to custody by courts,” a spokeswoman said.

Over 1,300 people have been arrested since the unrest began Aug 6 in London’s northern district of Tottenham over the Aug 4 killing of suspected drug dealer Mark Duggan by police. The unrest quickly spread to other cities like Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham.

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