UK: Prisoners caught with more than 200 phones after jail bosses launch blitz using new detection technology


"The Scottish Prison Service targeted around 1000 inmates in two jails and found that one in five had smuggled mobiles into their cells."

See the article: Prisoners caught with more than 200 phones after jail bosses launch blitz using new detection technology (Daily Record, link).

See also: Prison mobile phone signal blocking technology to go live (BBC, link)

None of the stories are very clear on the technology itself but in October 2013 the Scottish Prison Service signed a one-year, £60,000 contract with Tate Security Technology Limited that offers "mobile detection and prevention" services. Tate's website says (take note of the final sentence):

"Mobiles are a convenient means of communication; however, we are all too aware that with in a prison environment these are not permitted within the ground of any establishment. Tate Security Technology has acknowledged this by linking up with a technology independent partner to bring to the UK latest in mobile phone detection systems.

The unit can be placed in a central position within any area and can be installed as a single unit or a multiple installation to cover a wider area. This system picks up on the mobile phone being used or in standby by detecting the network signal this includes the short auto-registration signal sent out by the mobile phone. This once detected by the unit signals either a local indication to the house block officers or by an Ethernet I/O collector for remote alarm indication with-in the control room. Each unit can then pinpoint to a particular area the mobile phone has been utilised.

The unit can also be placed within the vehicle lock, visitor and the staff pedestrian entrances to stop any accidental entry to the prison of mobiles. The system is also available with a Jamming circuit; this is currently illegal within the UK."

 

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