Aylesbury Prison is one of the worst in Country for mobile phone confiscations

Aylesbury one of the worst in Country for mobile phone confiscations
Aylesbury one of the worst in Country for mobile phone confiscations

Prisons in the UK are awash with mobile phones, with thousands confiscated every year and many more going undetected, it has been revealed.

Prisons in the UK are awash with mobile phones, with thousands confiscated every year and many more going undetected, it has been revealed.

In Aylesbury Prison, per 100 prisoners nearly 81 were discovered to have mobile phones.

This is the second highest in the country.

The prison, which has been beleagured over the past few months because of a riot over showers and socialisation time, and after a Bucks Herald investigation revealed that the Prison was over capacity.

The total number of confiscations of mobile phones and SIM cards has risen from 9,640 in 2014 to 15,082 in 2017, a 56% rise.

Prisons with the highest rates were Hindley, Aylesbury, Ford, Berwyn and Buckley Hall.

Prisoners risk extra time being added to their sentences since the Crime & Security Act came into force in March 2012

We asked the MoJ if it could tell us how many inmates had been prosecuted in connection with mobile phone discoveries at each prison since and how much extra time was added onto their sentences, but the MOJ refused to answer our FOI, citing the cost limits exemption

A statement from the Ministry of Justice said: “These statistics show that we are successfully stopping contraband from entering the prison estate. Better intelligence and improved security measures are allowing us to catch more illicit items than ever before.

“However, we acknowledge that more must be done and as Minister [Rory] Stewart has previously stated, there are only five ways in which contraband can be smuggled into prisons and we are taking steps to tackle all five. We’ve addressed flying contraband in by tackling drones, the throwing over of items by the use of nets and searches, the dragging in of items by identifying wires and the posting of drugs by photocopying letters.

“It must be clear that it is a criminal offence to bring a mobile phone into prison, or transmit sounds or images from within a prison using a mobile phone. These offences carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

“In December 2016, Dean Rawley-Bell, 21, was jailed for 4 years and 8 months after he used a drone in attempts to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into HMP Manchester.

“Our prisons must remain an environment of rehabilitation, and appropriate communication is provided for prisoners to stay connected to family and friends.

“As with all contraband, stopping the flow means creating prisons that are safe, with orderly, purposeful and structured regimes, free from violence, intimidation and self-harm. It means creating prisons that are decent with clean wings and humane living conditions.”