Sunday, 9 December 2007

Mobile phones in prison. Jack Straw pull your finger out.

Why the hell are inmates using mobile phones to conduct criminal activity from the comfort of their bloody cells? According to a written parliamentary answer, over 400 mobile phones have been confiscated each month since October 2006. Security in our prisons is now an absolute joke. What is most depressing is that drug usage and mobile phone crime is now seen as the norm. Most of the drugs and phones apparently come over the prison fence, and there's not a great deal you can do about that. However, there are measures that can be taken to stop them being used once they are on prison grounds.

Brian Caton, the head of the Prison Officers Association (POA) is calling for greater use of mobile phone jammers in prisons. Brian said: "Many prisoners, we know, run criminal activities, serious criminal activities, from inside prisons by the use of mobile phones "I'm very, very afraid that eventually it's going to get beyond that point and prisoners are going to be able to arrange for prison officers and prison staff to be attacked through using mobile phones from inside the cells. "With the exception probably of firearms, explosives and probably drugs, it's probably the worst thing that can happen in a prison is to have mobile phones on sale to prisoners or prisoners having them".

So I've got one simple question: If we have a serious problem with mobile phones in prisons, and the POA are asking for Jamming equipment to cure this problem: then why in the name of all that is holy are Jammers not being fitted with utmost alacrity? I've looked into this and it seems that this technology is not that expensive (if you compare it to vast amounts this government wastes). You can buy a mobile phone Jammer that will block phone signals within a 300 meter radius for about £,2000. I'm sure that the cost to fit Jammers to every prison will be excellent value for money if it cuts crime, and especially if it protects prison officers and their families.

Jack Straw - Pull your bloody finger out.


Richard Havers said...

You really couldn't make it up.

robin said...

On the other hand I hope the prison and police authorities have been tracking the numbers that these prisoners have been calling.

Watching Them, Watching Us said...

You can listen again to the BBC Radio 4 IPM programme segment: Cell Phones

More details at Spy Blog: Thousands of Mobile Phones seized in UK Prisons - evidence of corruption ?

The technical issues are a bit more expensive than simple jamming, but are already well established, assuming that you do not wish to deny the use of mobile phones in the area surrounding a prison, especially for dialing 999 or 112 for the emergency Services.

Daily Referendum said...


Unfortunately you can in this country. Gordon Brown seems to be making it up all the time.

Daily Referendum said...


Probably against their human rights:)

Daily Referendum said...


I don't mind denying people near prisons the use of mobile phones. Availability of a mobile signal is not a basic right. It's just unlucky. As for 999 or 112 calls, I assume that there are landlines in the properties surrounding prisons. I seem to remember people ringing 999 before the invention of the mobile phone.

Watching Them, Watching Us said...

@ Daily Referendum - there is no technical reason for a prison not to have effective mobile phone (and BlueTooth and WiFi) jamming or shielding within its perimeter, without affecting the usage of mobile phones outside - it is only a a question of money for extra pico cell transmitters or repeaters.

Over half of all 999/112 calls are now made from mobile phones, and the number of landline phones is set to decline in the future.

The number of BT public phone boxes is already in a dramaric decline.

Mobile phone signals may not be an individual consumer right, but the radio frequency spectrum is a heavily regulated monopoly, for which commercial companies have paid billions for exclusive licences, so there are commercial rights involved.