U.K. Justice Secretary Calls On Online Retailers To Ban Sale Of Mini Mobile Phones

The U.K Justice secretary of the view that there should be banning of the sale of miniature mobile phones by online retailers because the design of the phones is such that is easy to be smuggled into prisons.

The body orifice security scanners that are used in England and Wales would not be able to detect the devices and this was the theme of the advertisements for these mobile phones said David Lidington.

Inside jails, up to £500 is being paid by users to get hold of a “Beat the BOSS” phone which can normally be purchased for £25.

Guards in various jails of the U.K recovered about 20,000 illicit phones and Sim cards.

The Ministry of Justice says, “beat the BOSS” phones accounted for more than a third of those seized phones according to estimates.

Online market places are the sites where such small phones, some as small as a lipstick, can be readily located and bought.

The metal detectors that are installed at jail gates and which have to be passed through by anyone entering a prison is unable to detect these small phones because they have very little metal and are also marketed to be virtually metal-free.

“It’s pretty clear that these miniature phones are being advertised and sold with the purpose of being smuggled,” Mr Lidington will say in a speech on Monday.

“I am calling on online retailers and trading websites to take down products that are advertised to evade detection measures in prisons.”

The U.K. Ministry of Justice says that more crime and intimidate victims would be the result of the use of mobile phones by people behind bars. Mobile phones are banned inside prisons.

The prison authorities would have access to portable detection devices that can be put to use for detection of mobiles in prisons, and this is a part of a £2 million investment by the UK government in procurement of detection equipment.

websites including Amazon, Gumtree and eBay have mini phones listed for sale.

EBay would make sure the justice secretary was aware it was “already going above and beyond” before his warning because the company had already taken the decision to prevent selling them some months ago.

For inmates in prisons, a cell phone is a prized possession and are pervasive in a way we find the use of cell phone unavoidable on the outside.

Such phones may be used by inmates to continue coordinating crime outside or to smuggle in some other contraband into prisons.

Additionally, calls made through smuggled cell phones cannot be listened to by the prison staff in the way that they do for legitimate calls made by prisoners to their families.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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