Tough new security measures for first prisons

Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer has announced that seven jails are set to receive innovative new equipment to tackle the smuggling of drugs, phones and weapons behind bars.

Berwyn, Bristol, Hewell, Lancaster Farms, Leeds, Liverpool and Norwich jails are the first to benefit from the government’s recently announced £100 million investment in prison security – with the measures set to be introduced in other prisons across the estate. The chosen prisons have been prioritised as they face significant security challenges. The new measures are set to be in place by spring 2020.

Among the measures, tough airport-style security, such as X-ray baggage and metal detection equipment, will be used to step-up the searching of visitors and staff on entry to jails, enforced by specially-trained officers.

The £100 million investment also includes a new digital forensics facility, expanded digital investigations team and phone-blocking technology to clampdown on the organised crime behind bars that drives violence and self-harm.

Frazer said: “The gate and reception are key areas of vulnerability to smuggling and more robust searching of staff, visitors and prisoners will help reduce the flow of drugs, phones and weapons. This game-changing package of equipment is part of the government’s new £2.75 billion investment to modernise and maintain our prisons, create 10,000 additional places, and crack down on crime behind bars. All of these elements are crucial as we create a system that can rehabilitate, cut reoffending and ultimately make our communities safer.”


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