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Inmates using mobiles will be cut off in a bid by prison chiefs

Inmates using mobiles will be cut off in a bid by prison chiefs

  • 2015-01-12

Inmates using mobiles will be cut off in a bid by prison chiefs to stop further crimes being organised from behind bars


Mobile phones being used by prisoners will be cut off under tough new laws.

Operators will be forced to block any number traced to an inmate following a number of cases where offenders have stalked victims and witnesses on social media and boasted about their cushy time behind bars.

Prison guards seize around 130 mobiles every week which are frequently used to run rackets inside from drug smuggling to contract killings.

Use of a mobile phone behind bars is already punishable with a sentence of up to two more years in jail and an unlimited fine, but around 7,000 criminals still use them inside.

The most recent figures available show that a total of 7,451 illicit mobile phones were seized in prisons in England and Wales in 2013.

Since 2012 prison governors have had the power to interfere with mobile phone signals to thwart crime bosses operating there by phone.

However the National Offender Management Service estimates it would cost £300million to install the devices at every prison, with operating costs of £800,000 a year.

But under the proposed new legislation to be debated in the Commons today, once a prisoner’s phone signal has been identified, the Prison Service will be able to apply to a court for it to be disconnected without guards having to find the device itself.

A memo written by Theresa May, the home secretary, leaked to The Sunday Times, says: ‘There are over 7,000 known organised criminals in prison in England and Wales.

'We know of cases of serious crimes including large drug imports, escapes and murders being organised from prison, enabled by illicit mobile phones.

‘The mobile network operators have told us they are unwilling to disconnect these phones unless compelled by law.’(from MailOnline)

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