Justice secretary reveals hundreds of illicit phones found behind bars
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