The prison is full of mobile phones, so inmates can lead a life full of crime without being hindered by locked doors and barbed wire. Why not use technology to stop it?
Thousands of mobile phones are seized in British prisons every year, and even more mobile phones smuggled or thrown on the wall go undetected.
They are valuable illegal resources-just borrowing money can cost 400 to 1,000 pounds.
The government’s National Offender Management Service (NOMS) confiscated 7,451 mobile phones and SIM cards in prisons in England and Wales in 2013.
NOMS said that with them, the prisoners “started murder, planned to escape, imported automatic guns and arranged drug imports.”
“The problem is very common.”
A prisoner organized a machine gun from his cell over the phone and smuggled the machine gun to Britain.
Judge David Farrell (QC) called the prison “completely inadequate”, making the crime a “scandal.”
The prisoners manipulated cocaine rings, arranged teenage hatred, and organized the murder of a gang leader-all from their cells.
She said: “Some people throw their phones on the fence, and then some prisoners can enter the premises to bring them in.”
Glyn Travis of the Prison Officers Association (POA) said prisons are far from unique.
He said: “Unmanned aircraft throw drugs and mobile phones into prison at will, which completely undermines the external safety of protecting the public.”
Sodexo, who runs HMP’s Northumberland branch, said: “Employees are working hard to prevent illegal items from entering the prison through various technical and intelligence measures.”
Despite security precautions, there are still so many phones entering the prison, which explains the difficulty of finding and deleting phones.
POA stated that the obvious solution is to make it unusable.
Immediately provide mobile phone portable jammer or capture cards that block or transfer the signal to its intended destination.
Four ways to interrupt communication
Interference/Blocking: Send a signal to prevent the phone from receiving its base station signal. All phones and SIM cards within the range of the jammer will be blocked, including those of prison staff. This method is cheap and most effective. Care can be taken to avoid interference outside the prison, but this will increase costs.
Grasp: The phone is attracted by a fake network. This is optional-employees or phones of nearby residents can be placed on a “white list” that is not affected. Success can be quantified-the phone and its owner can be determined. Illegal calls can be monitored and will not be blocked. It is more expensive than ceiling clogging.
Operator separation: The 2015 Serious Crimes Act introduced the power to force mobile operators to disconnect illegal telephone connections. The relevant regulations have not yet been passed. Separate phones and SIM cards can be replaced, and mobile operators may not want to work together.
Stop and search: You can search for illegal calls from visitors and employees. Cells and prisoners can be searched to find missing persons. You can train scout dogs to find mobile phones. Some phones cannot be recognized, new phones can be used instead of seized phones
However, according to NOMS, the cost is “disproportionate”, as high as 300 million pounds and 800,000 pounds per year.
Technical installers such as Howard Melamed of Cell Antenna have been driving down the cost of the technology for years.
Steve Rogers, director of digital radio management for electronic countermeasures, said that the various prisons in the UK-large, small, new, Victorian, open and highly secure-make pricing “very difficult”.
“You like that, that’s the problem, isn’t it?” Mr. Rogers said.
“If you calculate this value, you can say whether it is affordable.”
According to the 2010 Crime and Security Act, possession of a mobile phone in prison will be subject to up to two years’ imprisonment and/or unlimited fines.
Travis said, but prisoners are not worried about punishing internal crimes.
“I don’t know why they are worried about the fact that if they are prosecuted by the CPS and the police-if they are prosecuted, I will use this term-and then appear in court, which may take up to 12 months to be punished at the same time.”
The prisoner’s mother said that HMP Northumberland prisoners knew that they were not allowed to use mobile phones, but “many mobile phones” could still use mobile phones.
Last year, the government issued an order of 60,000 pounds to investigate the use of mobile phones in prisons-how to prevent mobile phones from entering, find people with mobile phones, and disturb those who cannot be found.
Last year, the Scottish Prison Service announced plans to control the lockdown technology of HMP Shotts and Glenochil.
However, NOMS explicitly ruled out this “expensive solution”, although an amendment in 2012 allowed it to be used in prisons.
Then, in 2015, the Serious Crimes Act introduced the possibility of regulations to authorize the government and Scottish ministers to force cellular operators to separate illegal phones and SIM cards.
In particular, the authorities can shut it down without looking for a phone.
The rule has not yet been passed. A spokesperson for the Prison Service said they will “introduce it in due course.”
Mr. Rogers said, but the separate SIM card and phone will be replaced soon.
Moreover, human performance is not in line with the commercial interests of money-making organizations that “ensure people’s lives.”
He said: “You only need to misunderstand one or two people and your situation will be interesting.”
POA has worked for signal blocking procedures for many years and sent it to members of Congress and every subsequent government.
Travis said: “They say every year,’We can’t afford it, we are experimenting, we are doing this’ and when they try, they say it causes too many problems-absolutely rubbish.”
Mr. Rogers supports technology because the prison can see how many phones are disabled and who owns them.
He said that blockages sometimes leave small spots where the signal can penetrate, and its impact is difficult to quantify.
The prison he works with can only be measured by the number of phone calls throwing prisoners into the trash can, without risking punishment for things that are illegal for stopping work.
The prison department accepts the prison’s “need urgent reform” and “looks for new ways to find and block mobile phones, and provide prison staff with the right tools to solve these problems”.
It lists detection equipment, routine searches, video surveillance, sniffer dogs and penalties-but is very reluctant to take its stand on blocking technology.
A spokesperson declined to say whether the 2012 legislation ever allowed the use of “denial signal” technology.
He also declined to comment on which pilot projects have been released or their conclusions in terms of cost and effectiveness.
POA believes that blockade or seizure can not only control prisoners, but also “will have a significant impact on ordinary people.”
If “those who have committed some of the most heinous crimes” can organize more crimes in prison, “how safe are the children?” Mr. Travis asked.