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Jail Phone Jamming 'May Hit Public'

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Jail Phone Jamming 'May Hit Public'

Post by Ted-Pencry on 9/11/2012, 22:30



People living near jails could have their phone signals accidentally jammed under proposals to stamp out the illegal use of mobiles among prisoners, it has been claimed.

Concerns were raised by MSPs about the unintended impact of UK Government plans to crack down on the problem, which may also see personal data mistakenly stored by authorities.

Holyrood's Justice Committee, while supporting the intention of UK-wide legislation, called for assurances that members of the public will be protected.

Some Scottish jails are in densely populated areas, such as Saughton in Edinburgh, Barlinnie in Glasgow and Craiginches in Aberdeen.

Roseanna Cunningham, Community Safety Minister, told the committee: "I understand exactly the point that is being made about the proximity of some jails to built-up areas and the necessity to ensure that if anything is put in place it does not effectively blanket a much wider area than simply the prison, which is what the primary purpose of any decision would be."

Officials said technology will be tested to ensure there is no overspill into residential areas. But the committee heard that signals could still be affected and data picked up in some situations.

Jim O'Neill, senior legal policy manager at the Scottish Prison Service, said: "You cannot say it will never, ever happen. The key for us is that it's only able to exercise this power within prison. Might someone's data be captured as they walk by an open prison in a rural area? That may well happen. The key then is to sift out that data and destroy it."

Trials are being held in English jails but phone jamming has not been tried in Scotland. It is already an offence to have a mobile in jail but authorities are concerned that serious, organised crime is still being conducted by prisoners with access to illicit phones.

The Prison (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons earlier this month. It enables the authorities to prevent, detect and investigate the use of mobile phones and other communications devices and will apply to all prisons, young offenders' institutions and secure training centres.

As well as allowing the jamming of signals, the legislation will let prison authorities trace calls, although it does not allow conversations to be recorded.Jail Phone Jamming 'May Hit Public'

Concerns mount that moves to curtail illegal moves by prisoners could have unintended effects

People living near jails could have their phone signals accidentally jammed under proposals to stamp out the illegal use of mobiles among prisoners, it has been claimed.

Concerns were raised by MSPs about the unintended impact of UK Government plans to crack down on the problem, which may also see personal data mistakenly stored by authorities.

Holyrood's Justice Committee, while supporting the intention of UK-wide legislation, called for assurances that members of the public will be protected.

Some Scottish jails are in densely populated areas, such as Saughton in Edinburgh, Barlinnie in Glasgow and Craiginches in Aberdeen.

Roseanna Cunningham, Community Safety Minister, told the committee: "I understand exactly the point that is being made about the proximity of some jails to built-up areas and the necessity to ensure that if anything is put in place it does not effectively blanket a much wider area than simply the prison, which is what the primary purpose of any decision would be."

Officials said technology will be tested to ensure there is no overspill into residential areas. But the committee heard that signals could still be affected and data picked up in some situations.

Jim O'Neill, senior legal policy manager at the Scottish Prison Service, said: "You cannot say it will never, ever happen. The key for us is that it's only able to exercise this power within prison. Might someone's data be captured as they walk by an open prison in a rural area? That may well happen. The key then is to sift out that data and destroy it."

Trials are being held in English jails but phone jamming has not been tried in Scotland. It is already an offence to have a mobile in jail but authorities are concerned that serious, organised crime is still being conducted by prisoners with access to illicit phones.

The Prison (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons earlier this month. It enables the authorities to prevent, detect and investigate the use of mobile phones and other communications devices and will apply to all prisons, young offenders' institutions and secure training centres.

As well as allowing the jamming of signals, the legislation will let prison authorities trace calls, although it does not allow conversations to be recorded.

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Re: Jail Phone Jamming 'May Hit Public'

Post by Rich H on 10/11/2012, 09:50

One rule for one, another rule for others...

Jamming signals is illegal for civilian applications throughout the EU & US.

So remember to switch off and unplug when not in use or likely to be compromised :)



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Re: Jail Phone Jamming 'May Hit Public'

Post by Ted-Pencry on 10/11/2012, 09:55


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Re: Jail Phone Jamming 'May Hit Public'

Post by Ricky L on 11/11/2012, 10:38

Oh god this old chestnut again..... They set up blockers at HMP Liverpool about five years ago, I am led to believe they were placed on the perimeter wall of the prison but the blockers actually blocked the Emergency Services frequencies. Since then MOJ have said no to having such kit within establishments saying that the general public will have the use of thier mobile phones effected.

The actual crux of the matter is that MOJ are scared of infringing prisoners rights as in the interception of communications. The National Offender Management Act 2007 actually made it illegal to possess a mobile phone or even a SIM card within a prison establishment, but the crazy thing was that it was not illegal to use said items.

We would find phones on a daily basis and have them interrogated, they were the next best thing to the use of a CHIS, however the interrogation took about a week to ten days.

The average price of a mobile phone in prison is between £500 - £1500, pending current climate as in how proactive the search teams have been.


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