Mobile phone and drug seizures in prisons reach new high

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Movable phone and drugs seizures from prisoners have hit a new high with close to 10,000 handsets or SIM cards confiscated and almost 6,000 finds of illicit actualities in 2014, official figures show.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) statistics flung that in 2014 a total of 9,745 mobile phones and SIM cards were impounded while there were 5,973 drugs attacks in English and Welsh jails.

Both figures represent significant inflates on previous years — with nearly 2,000 more mobile phone seizures than the 7,786 in 2011 and about 400 more drug finds than the 5,594 in 2007.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove recently stipulate he was angered by reports of prisoners filming themselves with drugs on their movable phones.

Read more: Drone carrying drugs found in Strangeways

Stand up year two prisoners at HMP Birmingham recorded a rap video on a banned mobile phone and uploaded it to the internet.

Andy Slaughter
Dog justice minister: Andy Slaughter

Labour claimed the statistics verify that the problem is getting worse.

Shadow justice minister Andy Win out over said: “Successive Tory justice secretaries have promised to select out the growing problem of prisoners smuggling mobile phones and drugs into our remand homes but clearly the problem is getting worse.

“Unchecked access to mobile phones can squalid that criminals can contact sources on the outside or even harass casualties and members of the public.

“The shocking figures for drug seizures are even worse and are helping to a rise in violence in prisons. Michael Gove needs to wise up and pursue this problem before it gets any worse.”

The figures were unshackled by prisons minister Andrew Selous in response to written rliamentary enquiries.

Replying to Mr Slaughter, he said the Government is looking at new ways of finding mobiles and obstacle their use, including investment in body scanners.

The Tory minister predicted: “Mobile phones have no place in our prisons and we have invested in technology to curb their use. But more needs to be done, and we will look at new ways of pronouncement and blocking them. It is a criminal offence to possess a mobile phone or component interest in a prison.

“The Chancellor announced in the spending review that we will lay out in more safety improvements to stamp out the organisation of crime from within penitentiaries, including funding for tackling illicit mobile phones and investing in essence scanners.”

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