"Crime Lords" Running Real-Life Empires From Their PlayStations

Crafty criminals are reportedly bypassing traditional means of running their nefarious bad guy operations from the confines of prison, turning to video game consoles to deliver orders to the outside world.

So says the UK's Serious Organized Crime Agency, which pegs generation non-specific "PlayStations" as the newest tool used by crime committing types to do their dirty deeds. How? By way of video game chat rooms. I was hoping for corpse teabagging in Morse code, but it doesn't appear to be quite that clever.

"People are using PlayStations to charge their mobile phones and are playing games interactively with others so are able to communicate with them," says Bill Hughes, director general of SOCA. "The Prison Service is concerned that prisoners are using interactive games to talk to people outside the prison."

That "concern" might be dispelled by the Prison Service itself. Reps tell the Times Online that this sort of communication isn't possible, at least under their rules.

"Prisoners have never been allowed access to wireless enabled technology such as that used in some games consoles," Prison Service reps say. "Nor would they ever be allowed access to such technology."

That means an outright ban on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo DS, three platforms named specifically by the prison system.

"The same capability can occur with the PlayStation 2, but an additional piece of equipment is needed to send or receive such signals," reps add. "No PlayStation 2 in the estate has this functionality."

Who to believe? The crime fighters or the criminals?!

Crime lords 'running empires from jail using PlayStations' [Times Online]



    I assume that "interesting" is code for "I am outraged that prisoners get anything ever". Yes, it is interesting, but in a different way. Despite being laughable ineffectual, prison is supposed to be to rehabilitate offenders. Cutting them off from all forms of entertainment will only make them more antisocial and help them develop psychological problems.

    If you are forced to work a 45 hour week and can't choose when, where and how you use your limited free time, should you be forced to stare at a wall for several hours a day? I understand that prisoners are there to be punished, but the rehabilitation concerns all matters in life. Education, work ethic, socialisation, conflict resolution and even socialising through entertainment.


    Prisoners reoffend because it's extremely difficult for them to find jobs with a criminal record.

    The only people who get to play games in prison are those who are on good behavour or on suicide watch. The former are those most likely not to want to stay in prison and the latter is more likely to kill themselves then reoffend.

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