Feeds

One cellphone for every ten lags in UK prisons

At least that's what they found

High performance access to file storage

The Prisons service discovered 8,648 mobile phones in prisons in the last 12 months, forcing prisoners to share one between ten, though it also admitted there could be many more.

Prisoners aren't supposed to have mobile phones at all, but stopping them getting into the prisons isn't easy. In response to a parliamentary question the Minister of State, Maria Eagle, admitted that in the 12 months prior to July this year 255 phones were discovered at high-security prisons, while gaols with lower security reported finding 8,393.

Those figures include phones confiscated from visitors, or spotted sailing over walls in padded boxes (the two more-common entry methods for contraband), but don't include those that prisons didn't bother sending for central analysis or were retained by police pending investigation.

Modern phones can be slipped into the body relatively easily, making possession hard to prove even if the phone is successfully detected. When a phone, or other contraband, is detected inside the body, prisoners are placed into confinement while the authorities await the inevitable - which can take several days.

In the USA the authorities now have the right to jam mobile phone use in prisons, ending a long campaign from companies and prison authorities, and it's likely that such a technical solution will come to the UK too. CellAntenna, one of the companies most vocal in proposing jamming solutions, tells us it is already running trials at one European prison and has been speaking to the UK prison service for some years.

Smuggled phones are worth between £250 and £500, according to July's Blakey Review (pdf), which makes preventing smuggling almost impossible. The Blakey Review was looking mainly at drugs in prisons, but also recommends that "mobile phone blocking" is a sensible option if it can be done cheaply enough. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.