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Prisons: Mobile Phones

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many illicit mobile phones were found in each prison in England and Wales in each of the last 12 months; and how many of those phones were found (a) on staff, (b) on prisoners and (c) in communal areas. (320095)

The Government are committed to reducing the number of mobile phones in prisons. We have already strengthened the law through the Offender Management Act 2007, which made it an offence with a penalty of up to two years’ imprisonment to bring a mobile phone or component into a prison. We are also taking forward legislation through the Crime and Security Bill to criminalise the possession of devices, including mobile telephones within a prison without authorisation.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) does not hold centrally disaggregated information on the location or ownership of phones seized. Many phones and component parts are not attributable to individuals. Prisons in England and Wales are instructed to send mobile phones and SIM cards found to a central unit for analysis, it is from this unit’s records that this answer is based. The figures contained in the tables have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing data, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. These data are not subject to audit.

The figures understate the actual number of finds, because they do not include items retained by the police for evidential purposes and phones not submitted for other reasons. It is not always appropriate to send phones to the central unit and some phones sent are not interrogated. These have not been included in these figures. NOMS is putting in place new procedures to improve the accuracy of these statistics.

Tackling mobile phones in prison presents substantial and increasing technological challenges, and while the numbers of phones found clearly indicates the scale of the challenge, it is also a reflection of prisons’ increasing success in finding them and better reporting. The following tables show the number of mobile phones and SIM cards that have been received from each of the prisons over the last 12 months.

Mobile phone and sim cards submitted to central unit (February 2009to January 2010)

High Security

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Belmarsh

1

1

Full Sutton

1

2

Frankland

2

Long Lartin

6

2

1

1

1

2

1

2

3

Manchester

6

6

3

3

8

6

12

15

1

1

5

4

1

2

Wakefield

Woodhill

Whitemoor

1

2

2

1

1

2

1

1

Total

12

11

7

7

8

6

14

20

2

5

5

7

2

4

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Belmarsh

2

1

3

Full Sutton

2

1

1

1

6

Frankland

0

2

Long Lartin

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

13

14

Manchester

5

1

1

6

1

9

12

52

56

Wakefield

0

0

Woodhill

1

1

1

1

2

2

Whitemoor

1

2

1

2

6

11

Total

6

2

3

9

2

2

3

7

11

14

75

94

London

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Brixton

3

5

25

23

1

1

7

6

3

2

Feltham

14

13

10

12

14

11

10

12

3

2

7

9

Holloway

3

4

1

Latchmere House

1

4

2

1

Pentonville

1

1

17

15

17

10

10

14

15

13

Wandsworth

2

3

8

7

9

12

21

19

4

Wormwood Scrubs

3

4

8

7

14

9

8

12

8

6

5

6

13

11

Total

8

12

30

27

59

57

41

39

49

40

42

43

36

38

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Brixton

2

2

14

12

4

4

2

6

9

9

70

70

Feltham

3

5

8

9

3

2

3

3

4

2

19

80

Holloway

1

1

1

2

2

6

9

Latchmere House

2

2

2

3

5

1

1

18

6

Pentonville

10

11

21

18

16

14

17

19

9

5

133

120

Wandsworth

5

4

3

1

48

50

Wormwood Scrubs

12

15

10

7

14

18

9

9

18

15

122

119

Total

30

34

60

51

39

41

38

39

44

33

476

453

Wales

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Cardiff

2

3

2

2

1

1

1

1

3

4

3

2

3

3

Swansea

1

2

3

3

4

5

1

1

5

3

Usk/Prescoed

2

1

1

1

1

Parc

1

3

4

4

1

1

1

Total

2

3

3

4

6

5

3

5

11

13

5

3

10

7

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Cardiff

1

1

5

3

1

1

4

6

2

3

28

30

Swansea

6

5

4

4

4

5

11

11

3

3

42

42

Usk/Prescoed

1

1

1

5

4

Parc

1

2

1

1

1

2

5

12

16

Total

8

8

9

8

6

6

17

19

7

11

87

92

South East

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Albany

1

1

Aylesbury

1

2

2

6

1

2

2

2

12

11

Blantyre House

1

3

2

2

Bronzefield

3

4

3

4

3

4

Bullingdon

1

4

3

2

2

4

5

4

2

1

1

1

Camp Hill

2

2

1

2

3

Canterbury

1

5

1

1

1

1

3

2

3

1

Coldingley

1

1

1

Cookham Wood

2

2

1

2

Dover

3

1

1

1

8

5

Downview

1

2

East Sutton Park

1

1

Elmley

5

15

3

5

5

2

6

6

4

4

1

1

2

Ford

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

Grendon

1

1

18

9

Haslar

Highdown

1

16

14

6

2

5

4

5

4

Huntercombe

1

2

2

4

1

1

2

2

Kingston

1

1

Lewes

Maidstone

3

3

2

2

3

4

3

3

1

3

Parkhurst

1

1

2

6

1

1

2

2

1

2

3

2

1

Reading

2

2

1

2

2

2

4

Rochester

1

1

5

6

3

Send

1

1

2

3

Springhill

19

9

5

3

8

5

8

6

1

1

Standford Hill

2

2

1

1

2

2

16

10

8

4

14

11

6

3

Swaleside

4

4

2

3

4

4

6

7

6

10

10

9

9

8

Winchester

3

2

1

3

1

Total

44

44

47

57

46

36

48

42

44

36

71

66

46

44

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Albany

1

1

Aylesbury

8

7

7

6

6

6

13

14

52

56

Blantyre House

4

2

12

2

Bronzefield

4

4

2

3

15

19

Bullingdon

1

6

3

3

2

2

3

28

22

Camp Hill

1

1

6

6

Canterbury

2

1

1

1

2

1

14

13

Coldingley

3

4

4

5

1

1

1

11

11

Cookham Wood

1

1

4

5

Dover

2

6

4

5

1

9

5

4

2

38

19

Downview

1

1

2

3

East Sutton Park

1

2

2

3

Elmley

4

7

2

2

1

1

4

5

1

2

36

52

Ford

1

1

1

6

8

Grendon

19

10

Haslar

0

0

Highdown

4

3

2

1

1

1

4

4

44

33

Huntercombe

1

1

7

10

Kingston

1

2

1

Lewes

1

1

1

1

Maidstone

5

6

5

9

1

2

5

6

28

38

Parkhurst

10

9

4

6

2

26

30

Reading

1

5

4

12

13

Rochester

1

2

3

1

3

1

1

10

18

Send

1

1

1

1

5

6

Springhill

1

2

1

1

1

1

44

9

Standford Hill

6

5

7

6

18

11

4

2

5

5

89

62

Swaleside

4

5

6

6

6

11

7

5

8

5

72

77

Winchester

2

1

1

1

2

3

10

10

Total

56

53

47

47

48

38

45

39

54

55

596

538

South West

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Ashfield

1

2

1

6

6

1

1

2

2

Bristol

3

3

10

8

6

6

7

9

3

3

Channings Wood

6

6

6

6

4

4

2

7

3

3

1

2

5

5

Dartmoor

2

8

6

1

1

9

8

3

3

4

5

3

1

Dorchester

1

1

2

3

Eastwood Park

3

2

1

2

4

6

Erlestoke

1

Exeter

3

3

1

4

7

1

1

3

1

1

1

Gloucester

16

12

1

3

1

1

Guys Marsh

3

1

5

4

9

6

9

7

19

15

26

17

Leyhill

1

2

6

8

10

5

Portland

Shepton Mallet

2

3

1

1

3

1

1

1

The Verne

1

3

3

3

1

2

5

4

3

2

3

2

Total

35

28

21

23

18

20

47

47

30

26

43

42

56

42

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Ashfield

1

1

11

13

Bristol

2

2

4

3

1

36

34

Channings Wood

6

2

2

2

3

2

1

33

45

Dartmoor

3

1

3

2

3

1

6

5

3

3

48

36

Dorchester

1

1

1

3

2

8

7

Eastwood Park

1

1

1

1

1

10

13

Erlestoke

1

1

2

1

Exeter

2

4

2

3

1

2

18

22

Gloucester

3

3

2

1

1

1

1

26

21

Guys Marsh

18

17

3

4

9

3

11

13

8

6

120

93

Leyhill

7

8

18

15

12

11

5

4

59

53

Portland

0

0

Shepton Mallet

1

2

8

8

The Verne

2

2

2

2

3

1

1

1

1

2

25

24

Total

32

38

28

27

36

23

37

36

21

18

404

370

East of England

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Bedford

4

2

1

1

1

Blundeston

5

9

1

1

1

1

2

2

5

1

3

3

3

Bullwood Hall

Chelmsford

3

4

2

1

2

1

3

Edmunds Hill

1

1

3

3

1

3

1

3

2

1

2

1

5

5

Highpoint

16

10

6

3

3

3

5

5

1

1

3

6

2

4

Hollesley Bay

5

3

9

6

3

1

6

5

1

2

3

15

8

Littlehey

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

3

The Mount

1

7

9

7

18

22

15

12

10

14

12

13

Norwich

2

3

1

1

1

4

7

8

2

3

3

1

1

Peterborough

2

2

13

11

1

1

4

9

6

5

6

9

10

12

Warren Hill

Wayland

2

2

3

4

2

1

2

5

3

4

5

7

5

Total

37

35

42

39

21

21

48

61

35

29

28

51

55

51

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Bedford

1

2

2

7

7

Blundeston

1

1

5

3

2

19

30

Bullwood Hall

1

1

1

1

Chelmsford

1

1

2

1

3

3

14

13

Edmunds Hill

4

1

2

1

1

22

19

Highpoint

1

3

1

2

2

2

3

3

43

42

Hollesley Bay

5

4

10

11

11

4

12

8

13

11

92

64

Littlehey

2

6

7

The Mount

8

7

12

11

3

5

5

3

8

8

101

109

Norwich

17

20

Peterborough

13

10

7

10

3

1

9

11

8

11

82

92

Warren Hill

0

0

Wayland

6

6

1

3

5

6

31

41

Total

33

28

43

43

22

17

31

25

40

45

435

445

East Midlands

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Ashwell

3

5

5

3

2

2

4

4

2

1

2

Fosten Hall

Gartree

1

1

1

9

1

1

Glen Parva

3

4

Leicester

2

3

1

1

3

2

5

4

7

6

7

10

6

5

Lincoln

1

1

2

4

7

2

5

1

2

4

3

1

Lowdham Grange

5

2

Morton Hall

2

2

North Sea Camp

2

1

3

6

3

3

4

4

7

3

1

Nottingham

1

1

1

2

3

5

1

2

3

Onley

1

2

4

1

2

1

1

Ranby

4

3

4

4

1

4

5

3

2

Rye Hill

1

11

9

6

8

8

7

16

24

8

20

21

16

Stocken

5

5

1

1

1

2

2

Sudbury

1

Wellingborough

9

14

5

6

10

11

1

14

13

2

1

11

8

Whatton

Total

27

30

38

43

35

37

20

22

52

61

31

57

47

36

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Ashwell

1

1

15

20

Fosten Hall

0

0

Gartree

10

7

2

1

15

19

Glen Parva

1

2

1

1

5

7

Leicester

2

3

2

1

5

3

2

2

2

2

44

42

Lincoln

3

2

5

4

3

2

3

5

28

32

Lowdham Grange

5

2

Morton Hall

2

2

North Sea Camp

1

5

8

3

3

3

3

2

2

32

35

Nottingham

3

3

1

1

6

10

23

Onley

1

1

3

11

6

Ranby

5

4

21

18

Rye Hill

8

5

7

8

6

10

4

3

5

5

100

116

Stocken

1

1

2

6

8

1

2

17

21

Sudbury

1

1

2

1

Wellingborough

1

10

15

10

6

10

11

10

13

91

100

Whatton

0

0

Total

36

30

33

38

27

24

29

33

23

33

398

444

West Midlands

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Birmingham

5

9

4

6

2

5

7

4

1

6

6

12

8

Brinsford

1

4

1

1

3

3

2

2

8

7

6

4

Dovegate

3

3

2

1

2

2

3

Drake Hall

Featherstone

15

17

3

5

2

2

4

1

11

18

8

12

1

Hewell

4

5

1

2

10

10

2

7

8

10

9

14

12

12

Shrewsbury

1

2

1

1

1

1

3

2

Stafford

1

1

2

Stoke Heath

4

1

3

4

8

7

4

6

2

3

5

6

Swinfen Hall

3

3

4

2

2

1

1

1

6

5

5

4

2

4

Werrington

1

1

2

3

Total

35

39

15

21

22

21

23

26

38

44

40

51

42

40

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Birmingham

5

9

11

9

10

11

6

9

16

15

86

90

Brinsford

1

1

3

5

4

1

4

2

3

3

36

33

Dovegate

13

14

2

5

6

8

3

4

30

41

Drake Hall

0

0

Featherstone

5

3

2

1

5

2

3

1

52

69

Hewell

13

6

12

8

10

7

1

1

6

6

88

88

Shrewsbury

1

1

1

1

1

9

8

Stafford

2

1

1

1

1

2

7

5

Stoke Heath

4

1

1

3

1

1

2

2

35

33

Swinfen Hall

1

1

1

3

1

3

1

3

27

30

Werrington

3

4

Total

31

21

43

46

31

32

21

29

32

31

373

401

York and Humberside

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Askham Grange

Doncaster

1

1

1

1

Everthorpe

7

5

12

11

16

15

9

5

10

11

Hull

4

4

7

6

3

2

7

10

2

1

4

3

1

2

Leeds

4

7

10

11

3

7

4

1

7

7

2

1

2

Lindholme

3

2

5

5

14

8

17

20

11

8

Moorland open

4

2

2

5

1

1

2

1

Moorland closed

4

4

4

3

1

3

2

2

3

3

2

2

New Hall

Northallerton

Wealstun

1

6

7

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

5

Wetherby

1

1

2

2

Wolds

2

1

9

10

5

6

6

4

Total

20

22

32

30

27

32

29

29

49

41

34

35

36

31

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Askham Grange

0

0

Doncaster

2

2

6

1

1

2

1

1

1

8

13

Everthorpe

54

47

Hull

4

28

32

Leeds

5

11

1

2

4

5

2

4

1

2

45

58

Lindholme

11

9

9

8

5

9

7

4

15

9

97

82

Moorland open

1

3

3

1

5

2

4

5

2

23

18

Moorland closed

6

7

1

1

2

1

26

28

New Hall

0

0

Northallerton

1

1

1

1

Wealstun

4

5

1

1

3

3

1

2

20

27

Wetherby

1

1

1

5

4

Wolds

15

13

8

9

7

7

5

2

11

11

68

63

Total

44

50

24

28

26

32

22

19

32

24

375

373

North West

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Altcourse

23

20

11

9

21

21

18

21

12

11

16

19

11

13

Buckley Hall

3

2

Forest Bank

13

15

Garth

4

2

5

6

8

12

4

3

3

2

4

4

17

19

Haverigg

4

3

6

4

5

2

1

1

Hindley

2

4

1

1

2

2

1

1

Kennet

1

7

7

6

11

10

3

2

9

5

9

2

Kirkham

1

1

7

6

63

13

Lancaster Castle

2

3

Lancaster Farms

1

2

2

1

24

22

2

1

Liverpool

3

6

10

43

42

25

29

29

30

7

8

3

1

Preston

10

16

6

8

5

8

1

5

3

3

Risley

5

8

6

7

2

2

10

15

7

9

2

4

Styal

2

2

Thorn Cross

2

2

1

1

2

1

2

1

1

Wymott

4

3

1

18

16

11

8

8

6

10

8

5

9

Total

20

40

54

63

110

111

74

77

97

99

66

67

131

85

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Altcourse

10

13

17

16

63

61

30

25

69

73

278

302

Buckley Hall

2

2

1

5

5

Forest Bank

6

9

3

3

2

5

5

30

31

Garth

1

3

5

3

4

4

2

2

5

8

62

68

Haverigg

1

1

1

4

2

6

5

3

1

31

19

Hindley

6

8

Kennet

2

1

1

2

3

3

47

37

Kirkham

15

12

17

2

51

17

21

11

30

13

205

75

Lancaster Castle

3

2

1

5

6

Lancaster Farms

4

7

33

33

Liverpool

9

10

20

17

10

8

14

20

169

175

Preston

3

4

28

44

Risley

4

2

11

11

6

9

3

2

2

4

58

73

Styal

3

3

5

5

Thorn Cross

2

2

1

2

4

4

7

9

8

5

29

28

Wymott

10

9

7

10

3

1

4

3

2

2

82

76

Total

63

63

82

66

148

109

83

64

145

141

1073

985

North East

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Acklington

1

2

2

2

4

3

1

1

1

9

7

Castington

Deerbolt

4

2

1

3

Durham

2

2

1

2

3

5

Holme House

4

4

3

2

3

4

4

1

1

1

2

1

Kirklevington Grange

11

10

9

3

7

5

1

1

9

2

1

2

Low Newton

Total

22

20

15

9

11

11

6

9

0

2

11

3

15

15

Grand total

262

284

304

323

363

357

353

377

407

396

376

425

476

393

SeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryTotal

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

M

S

Acklington

5

6

1

1

8

5

8

5

12

10

52

42

Castington

1

1

1

1

1

1

3

3

Deerbolt

1

1

6

6

Durham

3

5

1

1

4

2

14

17

Holme House

3

5

1

1

4

3

4

5

5

4

31

34

Kirklevington Grange

5

2

9

6

2

5

7

2

3

2

63

41

Low Newton

0

0

Total

16

18

14

10

14

13

24

15

21

18

169

143

Grand total

355

345

386

373

399

337

350

325

430

423

4,461

4,325

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how data found on illicit mobile phones in prisons is being analysed by the prison service. (320098)

Data found on illicit mobile phones found in prison is analysed by establishments. However, for security reasons it is not possible to disclose details of how this is undertaken. Analysis of the data found on illicit mobile phones provides a potentially valuable source of intelligence for prisons and law enforcement agencies. Guidance to ensure a greater level of consistency across the estate is due to be circulated shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many pornographic or violent images of (a) children and (b) adults have been found on illicit mobile phones seized from prisoners in the last three years. (320100)

Prisons are responsible for the analysis of the information recovered from mobile phones. Where there is evidence of a criminal offence, the matter is referred to the police. However, the majority of phones seized are not attributable to individual prisoners. The National Offender Management Service does not hold a centrally disaggregated record of the data found on illicit mobile phones found in prisons. To provide the information requested, we would need to contact all prisons in England and Wales, ask them to check their local records and to submit this information to headquarters. This would incur disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has made a recent assessment of the level of transfer between illicit mobile phones in prisons of violent or pornographic images. (320102)

Data found on illicit mobile phones found in prison are analysed by establishments. However, for security reasons it is not possible to disclose details of how this is undertaken. Analysis of the data found on illicit mobile phones provides a potentially valuable source of intelligence for prisons and law enforcement agencies. Guidance to ensure a greater level of consistency across the estate is due to be circulated shortly.

Due to the covert nature of mobile phone use in prisons, we are not able to estimate the number of mobile phones or component parts in circulation, nor are we able to assess their usage.