Powers to block mobile phones in prisons a step closer as Caulfield’s Bill passes Lords 2nd Reading

Maria Caulfield’s Bill to give powers to block mobile phone signals in Prisons moved a step closer to becoming law as it passed its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords.

The Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill, which was guided through the House of Commons by Maria Caulfield MP, is being led on in the Lords by Conservative Peer Baroness Pidding. The Bill would 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 Baroness Pidding for seeing my Bill through its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords. There are still a few hurdles left to get through in the House of Lords before this becomes law but as we heard during 2nd Reading the Bill has both Government and Labour supporting it. I am confident that The Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill will soon become law and our prisons will be a safer place for both staff and prisoners.”