Prisons: Mobile Phones

Justice written question – answered on 8th May 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to roll out mobile telephone blocking technology across HM prisons estate.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The National Offender Management Service is committed to addressing the risks that mobile phones present in prisons. Part of its response is to deploy technology in prisons that prevents mobile phones from working.

In 2012, the Government enacted the Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Act 2012. The Act places the use of mobile phone signal interference technology in prisons on a clear legal footing, enabling maximum use of such technology and to enable private prisons to use it.

A number of prisons are equipped with ‘fixed’ (as opposed to ‘portable’) signal interference technology. Since 21 October 2013, around 300 short-range portable blockers have been deployed to 88 public sector prisons.

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