Government looking to block mobile phone signals in prisons

Initiative is part of ongoing efforts to tackle the illegal use among inmates

In the wake of some high-profile cases involving the illegal use of mobile phones in prisons, the government wants to look into the possibility of blocking or jamming signals in prisons and secured institutions.

The initiative is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to tackle the illegal use of mobile phones among inmates, and the new jamming concept is based on a report from an expert panel set up by the justice minister, Søren Pind, in March.

“People held in remand and sentenced criminals must not have access to mobile phones in prison,” said Pind.

“They can subvert court cases or use them to commit crime, so I’m satisfied that we are within our rights to block the signals. We will continue to crack down on illegal phones via raids, sniffer dogs and scanners, and jamming can be a new effective tool. It’s a tremendous task, but we are well on our way.”

READ MORE: Four men charged in terror case had access to mobile phones in prison

Reconvening in 2018
The expert panel report recommended creating a basis for establishing a trial regarding targeted jamming in certain institutions such as Kofoedsminde, where convicted paedophiles are housed.

The trial should be designed in co-operation with the telecommunications industry in order to ensure that the jamming doesn’t impact the surroundings unnecessarily. When the administrative groundwork is in place, the relevant authorities will pinpoint institutions that are deemed suitable for the trial.

The expert panel – consisting of representatives from the Justice Ministry, the Energy and Climate Ministry, Internal Affairs Ministry, Danish Defence, the police and defence intelligence services PET and FE, and the Prison and Probation Service – will reconvene in two years’ time to evaluate whether the proposed solutions remain the most effective in light of potential technological developments.



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