A new law guided through the House of Commons by Maria Caulfield MP to block mobile phone signals in prisons has passed its final stage in the House of Lords.
With no amendments made to the Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill it will now go to the Queen to be given Royal Assent and will become law.
The Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill will give mobile phone companies the powers to block mobile phone signals on prison estates to stop convicted criminals being able to use illegal mobile phones to contact their criminal networks on the outside or intimidate victims of their crimes.
Being in possession of a mobile phone in prison is already illegal and carries a possible two year prison sentence, but with thousands of deliveries and visitors coming and going through prisons each day it is incredibly difficult to find all of them. Last year 23,565 mobile phone and sim cards were found in prisons in England and Wales, that is almost 65 a day. The new powers would render a mobile phone useless within the walls of all prisons in England.
Maria Caulfield MP said “I am grateful to noble colleagues in the House of Lords who have passed my Bill without amendment as was done in the House of Commons. This new law will enable the use of new technology to block mobile phone signals in prisons ensuring that the numerous crimes that can be committed with them will stop. This law will make our prisons safer for inmates and staff, while also ensuring that hardened criminals cannot continue to direct their illegal activities from within prison.”