Jus­tice sec­re­tary re­veals hun­dreds of il­licit phones found be­hind bars

The Scotsman - - Features - By AN­GUS HOWARTH

More than 1,500 mo­bile phones or com­po­nent parts have been found be­hind bars in the past four years, jus­tice sec­re­tary Michael Math­e­son has said.

Mr Math­e­son re­vealed the num­ber as he urged MSPS to back reg­u­la­tions that will al­low pris­ons chiefs to have il­licit mo­bile phones blocked by ser­vice providers.

Holy­rood’s jus­tice com­mit­tee agreed to the reg­u­la­tions af­ter Mr Math­e­son said the changes would help make pris­ons safer and com­bat or­gan­ised crime.

“Let me be clear, the unau- tho­rised use of mo­bile phones in prison presents a range of se­ri­ous risks to the se­cu­rity of pris­ons and to the safety of the pub­lic,” he said. “They can be used to plan es­cape or in­dis- cipline or to con­duct se­ri­ous or­gan­ised crime, in­clud­ing drug im­ports and se­ri­ous vi­o­lence from be­hind bars.”

Mr Math­e­son said the reg­u­la­tions, which were agreed by the jus­tice com­mit­tee, would “sup­port our com­mit­ment to re­duc­ing the harm caused by se­ri­ous or­gan­ised crime”.

He 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.

“The chal­lenges posed by unau­tho­rised mo­bile phones and their com­po­nent parts into prison and young of­fend­ers in­sti­tu­tions is not in­signif­i­cant,” he said.

0 Michael Math­e­son wants phones to be blocked

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.