A list of mobile phones seized from prisoners in English Category D male prisons reveals that a Samsung Galaxy S7 was allegedly seized in August 2015, over eight months before the phone was released.
The data, obtained exclusively by Mobile contained no information on how the unreleased device made its way into one of the UK’s jails but a key trend amongst other phones seized was their slim profile.
The prisoner was one of the first people in the world to get their hands on the phone, and also one of the first to have it taken from them.
While other previous flagships were also discovered as contraband, including two iPhone 5s, an iPhone 4 and a Samsung Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S7 is certainly the newest.
Sourced from the Ministry of Justice’s mobile phone interrogation unit, the information also shows the most popular contraband prison phone to be the Samsung E1200 with the Samsung E range accounting for a third of all confiscated devices.
In total the Korean brand possess a 57% share of the illicit prison phone market, over double its overall UK position in the same month (19.9%)
In one month alone, 30 phones in total were seized from Category D English male prisons, which is one seizure per 90 prisoners.
Other models seized were the Alcatel 1040x, a BMW style key fob phone, the Samsung Galaxy Young 2, the Nokia 105, the Vodafone 340 and the Yamayahoo BM50.
While owning a mobile device is a criminal offense in prison and can lead to an additional two-year sentence for those caught, the prison service says it is often difficult to discover which prisoner handsets belong to.
Responding to the information, the Ministry of Justice stated: ‘The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) takes the issue of mobile phones in prisons very seriously as they present serious risks to both the security of prisons and the safety of the public.’