HMP Bristol is notorious for being one of the most ‘troubled’ prisons in Britain.
Reports of drug-taking and violence at the Horfield jail are rife. That’s why it’s been selected to have pioneering X-ray body scanners rolled-out in the building.
The innovative technology – designed specially for prisons – produces instant images from inside the human body and can reveal internally concealed contraband, including drugs, mobile phones and weapons.
The scanners which will be installed at 16 prisons will cost £28million which is being paid from the government’s £100 million package to boost security.
Bosses hope the extra surveillance will help inmates feel safe.
Prisons and probation minister, Lucy Frazer QC MP said: “New technology is a vital part of our efforts to stop those determined to wreak havoc in our jails. These scanners will help to stem the flow of contraband into jails and allow officers to focus on rehabilitation.
“We’re investing £2.75 billion to transform our prisons, creating 10,000 additional modern places, and stepping up security to cut crime and better protect the public.”
While prison group director for Avon and South Dorset, Russ Trent said the move was very much needed.
“When people smuggle drugs or weapons into prison, it creates an environment where people do not feel safe and hinders our work to help those in our care, ” he said.
(Image: Ministry of Justice)
“I welcome the introduction of X-ray scanners as an addition to our tools for tackling prison drug use and violence.”
The Ministry of Justice says the cutting-edge technology will be installed first at local jails with high volumes of remand prisoners who reportedly pose the greatest risk of smuggling.
What else is being spent on prisons?
- £100 million to bolster prison security, clamping down on the weapons, drugs and mobile phones that fuel violence, self-harm and crime behind bars
- £2.5 billion to provide 10,000 additional prison places and create modern, efficient jails that rehabilitate offenders, reduce reoffending and keep the public safe
- £156 million to tackle the most pressing maintenance issues to create safe and decent conditions for offender rehabilitation.
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