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Barometer

How bad is the drugs problem in British jails?

25 August 2018

9:00 AM

25 August 2018

9:00 AM

Cultured tastes

Dawn Butler accused Jamie Oliver of ‘cultural appropriation’ for coming up with his own recipe for jerk rice. Some other culturally appropriated dishes she might find hard to swallow:

Chop suey is said to have been invented in 1896 — during a visit to New York by China’s US ambassador Li Hung Chang — to appeal to American and Chinese tastes.
Balti was invented in Birmingham in the 1970s by restaurants to appeal to a clientele beyond the local Pakistani population.
Fish and chips were first recorded in the East End in the 1860s, derived from the Jewish method of frying fish.

High numbers

The government took over Birmingham prison from security company G4S after Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke said he had had to leave one wing because the smell of drugs was overpowering him. How bad is the drugs problem in jails?


18% of male prisoners and 24% of female prisoners report that they had a drug problem before entering prison.
13% of male prisoners and 8% of female prisoners say they have developed
a drug problem since entering prison.
— In one prison (Liverpool) 37.5% of 320 random drugs tests came back positive.
— In another prison (Guys Marsh) 75% of inmates said drugs were ‘easily available’.

Trading places

The International Trade Secretary says he is going to turn Britain into an ‘exporting superpower’. To which countries did we export the most goods in June?

Exports / Year change
US £3.99bn / +12%
Germany £2.95bn / -8.1%
Switzerland £2.41bn / +184%
China £2.16bn / +71%
Netherlands £2.14bn / +13%
France £2.10bn / -0.6%
Ireland £1.68bn / -1.4%

Source: HMRC

All-rounders

Sprinter Usain Bolt had a trial with a football team in Australia. Does it work when sportsmen try to change sport?
Andrew Flintoff tried boxing in 2012, two years after retiring from cricket. He won one bout against American Richard Dawson but his career went no further.
— Sprinter Dwain Chambers played for Hamburg Sea Devils, in American football’s European league. He also tried
a career in rugby league, without success.
— Basketball player Michael Jordan attempted a switch to baseball, and hit three home runs for the Chicago White Sox before returning to basketball.


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