High Down prison crackdown leads to seven arrests over mobile phones use

High Down prison crackdown leads to seven arrests over mobile phones use

High Down prison crackdown leads to seven arrests over mobile phones use

First published in by , Reporter

Prisoners have been arrested for having mobile phones with them in jail in a crackdown by HMP High Down.

In the last few weeks, seven prisoners from the jail in Sutton have been taken to Reigate police station after being caught in possession of a mobile phone.

Over three days, prison guards rounded up inmates who had been caught with a phone or mobile device, and took them out of the prison grounds.

It is a criminal offence to use a or have a mobile in prison, but lawyers warned prisoners were increasingly flouting the laws.

Richard Atkinson, managing partner at Robin Murray and Co said it was certainly not a new phenomenon.

He said: "Prisoners having mobile phones is a problem in all prisons. I have known of phones being thrown into prisons over walls, and some even smuggled in by prison officers.

"The phones are used for varying degrees of misdemeanour's, from social contact to organising criminal activity and intimidating witnesses."

"It is a prevalent problem in the prison system."

One lawyer, who did not want to be named, said lawyers were even losing clients if they refused to break the law, but Mr Atkinson rebutted that claim.

He said: "I would be very concerned if that was the case. We are not allowed to knowingly communicate with a prisoner who is using a mobile phone. There was a solicitor prosecuted for it earlier this year."

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "It is a criminal offence to use or possess a mobile phone in prison and any prisoner found in possession will be referred to the police.

"We take this issue extremely seriously and staff work hard to keep all prohibited items out of prisons, using a range of robust and intelligence-led measures and work closely with partner agencies, including the police."

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