Tuesday, November 26, 2013
13 homemade knives found under Muslim prayer mats following Muslim gang war in prison
Home-made knives were found hidden under prison prayer mats after an inmate was stabbed in a jail war.
Officers discovered 13 razor-sharp weapons following a brawl between Muslim gangs.
A young man was knifed in the back in what is believed to have been revenge for another stabbing at Swaleside Prison in Kent.
A source said: “There is a battle for power going on between Muslim gangs at the prison.
“There could easily have been serious injuries or deaths and the level of violence is terrifying.”
The category B jail on the Isle of Sheppe holds 1,112 inmates, including a large population of Muslim prisoners.
Staff have to hold two sets of Friday Prayers - at the chapel and an overflow in the Multi Faith Room where the attack took place.
An internal document says: “In the Multi-faith Room, an alarm bell was activated and staff responded.
“A prisoner had been stabbed in the back with an improvised weapon. Additionally, he sustained wounds to his arm and defensive wounds to his hands.
"Prisoners were searched leaving the service and 13 weapons were found.”
Around two dozen inmates took part in the brawl and several were later put in the care and segregation unit.
Glyn Travis, of the Prison Officers’ Association, said: This is a worrying escalation.
“The number of weapons recovered is unprecedented and shows a determination to cause violence.
“This was a pre-planned fight and it is only through luck that a prisoner or staff member has not been badly injured.
“Staff reacted quickly, but cuts to officer numbers mean it is more difficult to act to prevent violence.”
The weapons found included razor blades fixed to toothbrushes. Police are investigating.
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