A row has erupted between the UK Prison Service and the Police's Serious Organized Crime Agency over consoles with internet connectivity. The latter claims that prisoners are using "PlayStations" to run their empires from within prison walls.

"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".

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

The Prison Service names Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's DS specifically as banned, while no PS2 consoles with modems are allowed, either.

The Serious Organized Crime Agency also claims that prison guards are passing on coded information in what appear to be innocent messages from criminals to their relatives. Something like "Please don't erase my Pokemon while I'm inside" could, it seems, actually mean something more sinister.