1/7/2010 10:11:00 AM
Use of illegal mobile phones in prisons soars
Dramatic rises in the number of mobile phones smuggled into
prisons have prompted concerns that they could be used to plot
criminal and terrorist acts.
A total of 8,099 mobile phones or Sim cards were confiscated in
prisons in England and Wales in 2008, compared with just 2,272
seized in 2006. The figure includes 388 recovered from high
security jails, where terrorist suspects are usually held, up
from 294 in 2006.
Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones (pictured) said
the figures were shocking. 'How can the Government have done so
little, as the number of phones found in prisons has more than
'In 2007, a convicted al-Qaeda supporter was caught using a
mobile phone to build a website from inside a high security
prison,' she added. 'You'd have thought the authorities would
have got their act together after that, yet there are now more
mobile phones found in high security prisons than there were
The Prison Officers Association called on the Government to stop
'penny pinching' and install mobile phone jamming equipment in
POA national secretary Colin Moses said: 'Mobile phones in prison
are as dangerous as firearms.'
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the rising number of
confiscated mobile phones demonstrated the effectiveness of
security and intelligence measures at UK prisons.