PRISONERS will be blocked from using mobile phones in their cells by new technology which will go live at Scottish jails in the coming weeks. Two prisons have been picked to trial devices that cut off mobile signals over a wide area and prevent people from making or receiving calls, sending texts or accessing the internet.
It follows the introduction of new legislation by the
A growing number of prisoners have been caught with mobile phones in their cells, allowing them to stay in touch with criminal associates or direct operations from their cells.
Prison chiefs say inmates have used phones for a range of criminal purposes, including organising crimes, harassing victims and maintaining links to gangs.
Access to mobile phones has also been associated with drug dealing, violence and bullying, while some inmates have even been uncovered maintaining
Last year it was revealed the prison authorities had investigated 236 allegations prisoners were running accounts on social networking sites from behind bars since
Blackout technology has been installed at two prisons, HMP Shotts in
The devices will send out a pulse which interrupts all mobile phone signals in the prison area, but does not affect landlines.
Because of their small size and light weight, mobile phones are relatively easy to hide inside cells and have been uncovered sewn inside clothing, slipped into shoes and among the pages of hollowed out books.
Electronic equipment such as CD players or radios are also easily adaptable to create a small space inside where a phone can be easily secreted.
Since 2011, almost 2000 illegal handsets have detected in Scottish, with 212 mobile phones recovered from HMP Shotts alone.
Possessing a phone in prison is a criminal offence, and there are currently 91 people serving custodial sentences for having one in their cell, or for attempting to smuggle a mobile devices to an inmate.
"This new legislation will allow SPS to further extend their technology to disrupt the use of mobile phones by prisoners and is scheduled to be operational in a matter of weeks."
"We will do everything we can to make the use of such devices impossible, and the introduction of this state-of-the-art technology is one of a range of measures we intend to take to detect, restrict and disrupt the use of mobile phones in our prisons.
"We will report any discoveries to the appropriate authorities."
PRISONERS will be blocked from using mobile phones in their cells by new technology which will go live at Scottish jails in the coming weeks.
Two prisons have been picked to trial devices that cut off mobile signals over a wide area and prevent people from making or receiving calls, sending texts or accessing the internet.