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


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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