Scotland to Test Jamming Mobile Phones in Prisons

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Scotland's prisons are to introduce technology that can jam the use of mobile phones within prisoner cells. The deployment is set to go live within weeks the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill MSP has announced.

HMP Shotts is one of two pilot sites that will operate the technology.

The move follows the introduction of enabling legislation by the Scottish Government, giving the green light to prison management to interfere with wireless telegraphy in order to prevent and investigate the use of illegal electronic communications devices by those in custody.

In December 2013, the Scottish Prison Service awarded contracts for the installation of the jamming technology at two previously undisclosed pilot sites; HMPs Shotts and Glenochil.

Mr MacAskill said: "This Government made it a criminal offence for a prisoner to possess a mobile phone and the Scottish Prison Service has already invested considerably in the use of technology and intelligence capability to detect and prevent the use of mobile phones in our prisons.

The number of mobile phone handsets detected in Scottish prisons since 2011 reached a total of 1,988. Of that number, 212 mobile phones were recovered from HMP Shotts. In 2013, there were 44 mobile phones recovered in HMP Glenochil.

There are currently 91 people have received a custodial sentence possessing a mobile phone in prison, or attempting to smuggle the illicit devices into an establishment, since legislation was introduced in December 2010.

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Tags: prisons  scotland  UK 

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