Lancashire

Kirkham prison has most illegal mobiles in England and Wales

HMP Kirkham Image copyright Barbara Carr
Image caption HMP Kirkham is a category D open prison near Preston

More illegal mobile phones were found in Kirkham prison last year than in any other jail, government figures have revealed.

The figures show 488 mobile phones and SIM cards were seized at the Lancashire prison - 200 more than any other prison in England and Wales.

The category D open prison, near Preston, houses 562 male prisoners.

Over 1,000 of the 7,451 handsets or SIM cards confiscated across England in 2013 were found in north west jails.

Possession of a mobile phone in prison is illegal and is often associated with the supply of drugs.

Prisons Minister Andrew Selous revealed the figures in a written parliamentary answer to Labour's Jim Cunningham.

Mobile blocking

He said the seizures showed the success in clamping down on the use of banned items.

The National Offender Management Service has begun supplying some prisons with mobile phone blocking technologies.

The Ministry of Justice refused to disclose whether Kirkham prison uses mobile phone blockers to stop prisoners using banned handsets.

A spokesperson said: "Mobile phone blocking technologies have already been trialled in ten prisons and in October 2013 a further 300 short range portable mobile phone blockers were rolled out to prisons."

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