MSPs back move to block mobile phones in prisons
More than 1,500 mobile phones or component parts have been found behind bars in the last four years, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said.
He revealed the number as he urged MSPs to back regulations allowing pris- ons chiefs to have illicit mobile phones blocked by service providers.
Holyrood’s justice committee agreed the regulations after Mr Matheson said the changes would make prisons safer and to combat organised crime.
He said: “Let me be clear, the unauthorised use of mobile phones in prison presents a range of serious risks to the security of prisons and to the safety of the public.
“They can be used to plan escape or indiscipline, or to conduct serious organised crime, including drug imports and serious violence from behind bars.”
But he said the regulations would “support our commitment to reducing the harm caused by serious organised crime”.
Mr Matheson said the changes would allow the Scottish Prison Service to get a court order that would mean a mobile phone being used behind bars would be blocked from the network making it “useless”.
He conceded the regulations will not stop all mobile phones that are used in Scotland’s jails.
Prisoners are using mobile phones to organise crime