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An extra pounds 450m will be needed in the next three years to pay for the cost of the spiralling prison population and raft of new law and order measures being introduced.

The Home Office has been forced to revise its budget plans for the rest of the century after tough new sentencing provisions, backed by a growing emphasis on jailing offenders, has derailed earlier predictions.

The forecast for the Home Office for this coming financial year is pounds 6,605m, compared with earlier predictions of pounds 6,504m. The extra money is needed to cope with the jail population which will top the historic 60,000 mark in the next few weeks and for extra prison security. The Treasury has already agreed to give the Home Office an extra pounds 230m this year to help with the prison crisis.

The Home Office Annual Report 1997, available from The Stationery Office, 49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6HB; pounds 20.50.