Rod Liddle says UK prisons are ‘crammed with Jamaican criminals’ – who are 0.83% of prison population

Sun writer's wild assertion is belied by the facts

Rod Liddle


Professional bigmouth Rod Liddle writes against calls for reparations by Jamaican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller, in a piece steaming with his usual wit and charm.

After the predictable references to marijuana (ho ho), the Sun columnist explains that ‘we’ already give ‘the Jamaicans’ enough money.

He adds:

“That’s because British jails are crammed with Jamaican criminals. Drug-dealing Yardie thugs and the like.

Despite being a tiny island, Jamaicans are the third-largest contingent of foreign prisoners in British politics.

If there was an Olympic Games for criminality, Jamaica would punch well above its weight.”

And so on.

In fact, as the Sun Apologies Twitter account reports, Ministry of Justice data (2014) shows of a UK prison population of 85,509, Jamaican nationals make up just 718 – or 0.83 percent.

Of foreign nationals, they make up 6.62 per cent.

So much for the claim ‘British jails are crammed with Jamaican criminals’.

Liddle is correct to say Jamaican nationality has the third highest number of inmates in UK prisons.

But he doesn’t say that this number has been decreasing steadily since 2002, when there were 2,588.

Incidentally, the countries in first and second place are the Irish Republic and Poland. Would Rod Liddle say ‘British jails are crammed with Irish and Polish criminals’?

Probably, yes.


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Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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14 Responses to “Rod Liddle says UK prisons are ‘crammed with Jamaican criminals’ – who are 0.83% of prison population”

  1. NHSGP

    Your link to the ministry of justice data does not work.

  2. NHSGP

    The link above works. Table A1.10

    10,834 known foreign nationals.

    Of those, Around 700 are from countries were there are issues deporting them.

    There you go. 10K deported. That can be done quite quickly, saving lots of money

  3. Prison Reform Trust

    It’s actually even less than that as 2015 data is available. See table A1.11i in the MoJ’s Prison Population 2015 stats. 619 Jamaican nationals in prison in England and Wales as of June this year, accounting for 0.72% of the total prison population.

    Data available at

  4. Cole

    That’s not the point – the point is the inaccurate rubbish in Liddles article.

  5. WhiteVanMan

    Nearly 1% of prison population for such a small amount per person of their country is quite a lot.

  6. Mo

    I enjoyed reading that. He does write very well.

  7. Patrick Nelson

    “Rod Liddle says UK prisons are ‘crammed with Jamaican criminals’ – who are 0.83% of prison population”

    Not surprising to hear this sort of thing coming from a pant collecting moron.

  8. Patrick Nelson

    Yes it is, however it isn’t just an issue of problems in that community it is also related to

  9. WhiteVanMan

    Even if the length of sentences black criminals get compared to white counterparts depending in the crime, it doesn’t change the ratio, and there are also white Jamaicans

  10. Patrick Nelson

    When black people enter the court room they are less likely to be acquitted than if they are white – that certainly does change the ratio.

    I have heard that some white people suffer from a similar prejudice in the courtroom too (Scousers for one) and on the other side of the coin we all know of cases where well spoken well connected people get away with all sorts (often on the basis of “character references” from the powerful,

    ..but none of this changes the reality that if you are black you are more likely to get the book thrown at you and this – along with the fact that black people are more often from socioeconomic groups that are themselves more likely to go to prison irrespective of colour – is the reason why, rather than racialist speculations.

  11. WhiteVanMan

    Maybe crimes white people are more likely to face court for, are traditionally different look at historical sex Paul assaults where it’s one persons word against another, hypothetically in the days of CCTv NDA, if a back person committed a street robbery, there maybe more evidence that a jury goes by, if a white person faces a fraud trial,the jury may find a tecgnicLity to acquit them on,
    But then there’s the proportion of alleged crimes that take police compared to how many the accused goes to court for, if there’s an assault, in the home, the jury may decide,that there was a fight,and it was self defence, after provocation
    If there’s a street stabbing,it’s more likely ,pre meditated,and how often do assaults in the street, result in finding the perpetrator.

  12. Patrick Nelson

    “Rod Liddle says UK prisons are ‘crammed with Jamaican criminals’ – who are 0.83% of prison population”

    Not surprising to hear this sort of thing coming from a **** collecting moron..

  13. Colin Lonie

    Rod Liddle rocks unlike this marxist bullshit

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