should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

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totally block all mobile phone signals inside all prisons

yes, it's the only way to be sure
208
64%
yes, simple and totally effective
92
28%
no, searching for mobiles is better
12
4%
no, we can rely on informants
0
No votes
no, the prisoners themselves can hand them in
5
2%
I really don't know, ask me next year
8
2%
 
Total votes: 325

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by firmbutfair » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:34 pm

Block them all and carry out proper searching of all visitors, why not actually have a real deternt for those caught? Something like a heavy fine and jail. The Service needs to be pro active rather thansitting back hoping nothing will happen, but then again less phones and drugs found mean cleaner records for the prisons concerned.

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by jackdaniels » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:31 pm

we definitely need to block all mobile phones - but as somebody has already said this wont happen until a serious escape is planned using a mobile phone.
all we can do is wait and see!

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Beak_Peckham » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:46 pm

Point taken Panhead about the paint, but the only legal and cheaper alternative to jamming remains cellphone detection. There is a portable product here http://www.starportuk.com that is currently being trialed in the North. The idea is that you leave them inside service bays next to cells for periods of time. When the units are recovered, the data they record is uploaded and analysed to see if inmates in the adjoining cell were using mobile phones, and if they were, when and for how long. This is not real-time surveillance but it is methodical intelligence gathering.

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Crumbling Victorian Cat B » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:38 pm

No doubt all Prisons are different, speaking of mine the dynamic security “will power” is just not there, and has never been there.
So the only other option would be a complete block of the prison
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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by falkor » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:39 am

:arrow: check out David Jamieson talking about this on BBC NEWS 23/11/09

Technology should be used to jam mobile phone signals in prisons, an inspector at Britain's largest jail has said.

David Jamieson, chairman of Wandsworth prison's Independent Monitoring Board, says illegal phones fuel prison drug trading, bullying and gang problems.

Behind bars, phones can cost £400 each. He said the trade had been worth £9m in 2008, when 7,000 phones were seized.

The Prison Service says signal blocking is technically challenging and not quick, simple or cheap to implement.

Mr Jamieson told the BBC's Inside Out London programme he believed three times as many mobile phones were in circulation within prisons as had been seized.

Ever-smaller handsets allow phones to be smuggled in by prisoners, visitors or corrupt staff, he said.

Some are even thrown over prison walls.

'Pussyfooting around'

It would be impossible to stop them coming in, Mr Jamieson said, but signal-blocking technology would render them useless, preventing prisoners from using them to co-ordinate crime and intimidate witnesses on the outside.

Mr Jamieson said: "The technology... does exist. It would cost about £250,000 to equip a prison to jam calls. That would pay for itself quite easily over time."

However, he accused the government of "pussyfooting around" the issue.

The Ministry of Justice said it was already an offence to smuggle a phone into prison and that a new bill included laws intended to make it illegal to possess one in jail.

"The objective of this clause is to act as an additional deterrent to those who consider trafficking a mobile phone and/or its component parts into a prison, or to have them in their possession and to punish those who do," said a spokesman.

:arrow: check out David Jamieson talking about this on BBC NEWS 23/11/09

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Easylife » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:12 am

Detecting phones is pointless as there seems to be no real punishment for having them any more .
Jails don't want to admit they exists and don't seem to want officers to go out there and find them as it seems to embarrass
management. Seems hard to believe that blocking them is so difficult these days.
It is easy for me to say that as my last two prisons have been out in the sticks not in the middle of the town centre.
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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Crumbling Victorian Cat B » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:25 am

"orchestrated the execution" from inside Belmarsh prison by using a mobile telephone.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7674214.stm

Belmarsh being a high security nick with all the resources you can shake a stick at still can’t resolve the M/P issue what chance has the rest of the estate ?
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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Easylife » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:04 pm

Crumbling Victorian Cat B wrote:"orchestrated the execution" from inside Belmarsh prison by using a mobile telephone.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7674214.stm

Belmarsh being a high security nick with all the resources you can shake a stick at still can’t resolve the M/P issue what chance has the rest of the estate ?
The Government are more concerned with making Afghanistan a safer place.

Maybe the European union will save us :slbg:
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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Beak_Peckham » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:10 pm

Easylife wrote:Detecting phones is pointless as there seems to be no real punishment for having them any more .
Jails don't want to admit they exists and don't seem to want officers to go out there and find them as it seems to embarrass
management. Seems hard to believe that blocking them is so difficult these days.
It is easy for me to say that as my last two prisons have been out in the sticks not in the middle of the town centre.
Easylife, saying detecting phones is pointless is a bit like saying detecting drugs is pointless isn't it?

Me thinks that cellphone detection is the only answer for two reasons. 1) jamming is not going to happen in the UK for reasons stated above. 2) phones are a very valuable commodity inside and they a cause of a lot of hassle. If one is concerned about lack of punishment then that issue can be addressed.

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Crumbling Victorian Cat B » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:26 pm

Beak_Peckham wrote:
Easylife wrote:Detecting phones is pointless as there seems to be no real punishment for having them any more .
Jails don't want to admit they exists and don't seem to want officers to go out there and find them as it seems to embarrass
management. Seems hard to believe that blocking them is so difficult these days.
It is easy for me to say that as my last two prisons have been out in the sticks not in the middle of the town centre.
Easylife, saying detecting phones is pointless is a bit like saying detecting drugs is pointless isn't it?

Me thinks that cellphone detection is the only answer for two reasons. 1) jamming is not going to happen in the UK for reasons stated above. 2) phones are a very valuable commodity inside and they a cause of a lot of hassle. If one is concerned about lack of punishment then that issue can be addressed.
I think what easy is trying to say is, that if you find a mobile the punishment is very limited and that’s if you can prove it actually is the property of one individual? and then that one individual just sources another mobile ?
Also cell phone detection is one issue,having the resources to then find that phone is a different issue,look you don't buy a mobile phone detector which states on its LED panel "bingo there is a phone in A3-24 good luck"
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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Beak_Peckham » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:43 pm

Crumbling Victorian Cat B wrote:
Beak_Peckham wrote:
Easylife wrote:Detecting phones is pointless as there seems to be no real punishment for having them any more .
Jails don't want to admit they exists and don't seem to want officers to go out there and find them as it seems to embarrass
management. Seems hard to believe that blocking them is so difficult these days.
It is easy for me to say that as my last two prisons have been out in the sticks not in the middle of the town centre.
Easylife, saying detecting phones is pointless is a bit like saying detecting drugs is pointless isn't it?

Me thinks that cellphone detection is the only answer for two reasons. 1) jamming is not going to happen in the UK for reasons stated above. 2) phones are a very valuable commodity inside and they a cause of a lot of hassle. If one is concerned about lack of punishment then that issue can be addressed.
I think what easy is trying to say is, that if you find a mobile the punishment is very limited and that’s if you can prove it actually is the property of one individual? and then that one individual just sources another mobile ?
Also cell phone detection is one issue,having the resources to then find that phone is a different issue,look you don't buy a mobile phone detector which states on its LED panel "bingo there is a phone in A3-24 good luck"
"and then that one individual just sources another mobile ?" Cellphones are prolific but that doesn't mean that smuggling them in is a doddle.

"you don't buy a mobile phone detector which states on its LED panel "bingo there is a phone in A3-24 good luck"[/quote]

That is a good point. Handheld detectors I would certainly agree don't deliver. On the otherhand the idea of a cheap small portable detector that you leave in service closets next to cells that records data about the mobile phone activity in those cells over a perod of time is a possibility that I don't think has been properly explored. There are no capital costs of installation associated with this concept.

The problem with all security technology is that people expect miracle results, a 100% solution 100% of the time. I am arguing that if cellphone detection cuts the problem by only 30%, that would in our eyes be an achievement. Find me a governor who wouldn't be interested in that result for his prison, and that's without jamming or major capital expenditure.

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Crumbling Victorian Cat B » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:26 pm

BP-How can cell phone detection cut the problem by 30%,not to sure on this ? also it would still not identify a specific cell !!
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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Beak_Peckham » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:36 pm

Crumbling Victorian Cat B wrote:BP-How can cell phone detection cut the problem by 30%,not to sure on this ? also it would still not identify a specific cell !!
The 30% was arbitary, it could be 25% or 54%. The point was that a success rate well below 100% was someting worthwhile if the cost is proportionately low enough.
Last edited by Beak_Peckham on Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Crumbling Victorian Cat B » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:09 pm

Beak_Peckham wrote:
Crumbling Victorian Cat B wrote:BP-How can cell phone detection cut the problem by 30%,not to sure on this ? also it would still not identify a specific cell !!
The 30% was arbitary, it could be 25% or 54%. The point was that a success rate well below 100% was someting worthwhile if the cost is proportionately low enough.

How it would identify a specific cell? The kind of unit I'm thinking of would be placed in a service bay adjacent to a cell. In that area it will be able to record various types and strengths of radio signals entering the service bay. It would for instance pick up cellphone signals such as GSM and 3G, non-cellular signals such as DECT radio phones (which I have learnt are a minor problem in prisons), plus other signal types such as legitimate 2-way radios. Each different signal type noted would have a date and time stamp, duration and more importantly relative strength attached to it on a scale 1%-100%. If a signal is say GSM at 5% then most likely it will be a cellphone call outside of the prison. If 60% -100% then it could be a local event a few feet away, ie in the cell. How do you know it's in cell D102 and not D103? Both cells have detectors in adjacent service bays but D102 showed a stronger signal at precisely the same time. How do you know what level percentage strength signal would signify an event taking place in an adjacent cell? Detectors and cellphones would be trialed by staff on the wing before operational deployment. Upper and lower percentages would be noted and the officer responsible for analysis would have the results tabulated for reference. That is the theory at any rate. The problem if there is one is the predictability between signal strength and distance. It is not completely predictable because other factors come into play. The main one will undoubtedly be normal variations of cellphone output. Over time and with experience gained it is possible for a single skilled analyst to beome so familiar with typical signal strengths on site to be able to determine within a reasonable level of probability that a phone was used in a certain cell at a certain time.
This would just not be workable in a prison enviroment,resources and time are just not there, just would not be practicle in conjuction with limited results.
What is your feedback from jails so far ?
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Re: should all mobile phones in prisons be BLOCKED?

Post by Easylife » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:27 pm

Ok ,so we have found the phone.Now the prisoner gets bugger all for having it.
We then have to pretend it was info received rather than good officer skills to avoid a fine.

Spend the cash elsewhere .I'll have a new fleece please !
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