The first UK Prisons to receive X-ray baggage scanners

Due to a £100 million government prison security initiative seven UK prisons are to receive advance new equipment to tackle contraband smuggling.

X-ray baggage scanners and metal detectors will step-up searching of visitors and staff on entry in a bid to make prisons a safer place. The government have pledged a £100 million funding to deliver safety packages as well as specially trained staff.

Seven UK prisons have been prioritised as they face significant security challenges, these will be the first in the country to use the proposed advance technology as a security measure. The chosen prisons are Berwyn, Bristol, Hewell, Lancaster Farms, Leeds, Liverpool and Norwich. These new measures will be in place by Spring 2020.

Prisons Minister, Lucy Frazer QC MP said: “The gate and reception are key areas of vulnerability to smuggling and more robust searching of staff, visitors and prisoners will help reduce the flow of drugs, phones and weapons.

“This game-changing package of equipment is part of the Government’s new £2.75bn investment to modernise and maintain our prisons, create 10,000 additional places, and crack down on crime behind bars.”

“All of these elements are crucial as we create a system that can rehabilitate, cut reoffending and ultimately make our communities safer.”

Alongside strengthening security at the prison gate and reception, the £100 million investment also includes a new digital forensics facility, expanded digital investigations team and phone-blocking technology to clampdown on the organised crime behind bars that drives violence and self-harm.

Whilst on a visit to HMP Leeds, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government needed to help prevent young people getting sucked into crime by “wrapping their arms” around struggling families.

“I don’t want to see prisons just be factories to turn bad people worse. We need to be making sure that they are educated and there’s not a culture of gangsterism and drugs in the prison system,” he said.

There also needed to be a “proper plan to resettle” people when they came out, he added.

As a trusted supplier of services to the X-Ray scanning industry, Shape Services are naturally looking forward to seeing these advancement roll out and we’ll certainly be keeping a keen eye on the project.


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