Prison officers to be handed high-tech scanners to track down illegal mobile phones inmates use to smuggle in drugs
- Officers will be able to pinpoint mobile phone signals down to the particular cell
- Comes amid concern how prisoners are using illegal mobile phones to get drugs
- GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Criminals stuffed drugs into dead rats in prison
Prison officers are to get high-tech scanners to track down illegal mobile phones inmates use to smuggle in drugs.
The new devices will allow officers to pinpoint mobile phone signals right down to the particular jail cells they are coming from.
The move comes amid mounting concern over how prisoners are using illegal mobile phones to co-ordinate drug-smuggling into jails.
Only last month, it emerged that criminals had stuffed dead rats with drugs and phones in a bid to sneak them past jail security.
Staff on patrol discovered three rodents just inside the perimeter fence at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset – apparently all thrown over the fence.
The new devices will allow officers to pinpoint mobile phone signals right down to the particular jail cells they are coming from. Pictured is last month’s haul from the insides of dead rats
GRAPHIC CONTENT: Criminals stuffed drugs and mobile phones into dead rats in an attempt to smuggle the contraband into a prison
But the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) today announced that specialist mobile phone detection technology – already successfully trialled in one prison – is now in use in five jails across the country.
Justice Secretary David Gauke said: ‘As criminals look for new ways to smuggle contraband into prisons, it is vital that we stay one step ahead, and this kind of technology will help prevent them operating from their cells.
‘This is vital to ensuring prisons are places of safety and rehabilitation, where offenders can turn their backs on crime for good.’
The Ministry of Justice said the rats were thrown over the prison fence by organised criminals working with an offender on the inside at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset [File photo]
The new technology emits real-time alerts when a mobile is detected in prison, shown on a digital heat map which identifies the strength of the signal.
It allows prison officers to pinpoint the location of the phone down to the exact cell.
MoJ officials warn that illicit use of phones in prisons to co-ordinate crime fuels high levels of violence as offenders vie for control of the internal market and enforce drug debts.
The new technology was part of a wider multi-million-pound strategy to restore stability to prisons, the MoJ said.