Amazing picture shows the view prison officers are getting of inmates at Doncaster Prison

This is the view that bosses are getting of inmates at Doncaster Prison – with a new high tech system to stop smugglers.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 6:50 pm

The advanced X-ray body scanner has been installed at the jail at Marshgate to try to stop people bringing in contraband such as drugs.

And officials at the Ministry of Justice say it has prevented drugs and other illegal items from entering the within weeks of being installed.

The equipment is being rolled out across a number of jails including the privately run Doncaster Prison, in England and Wales and is part of a £100 million package intended to boost security in prisons and crack down on crime behind bars.

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A image from the sort of scanner at Doncaster prison

The technology, developed specifically for the Prison Service, allows staff to see instantly whether prisoners are attempting to smuggle in illegal contraband such as mobile phones, drugs and weapons.

The illegal items detected would have been destined for the prison wings, fuelling the illicit economy and potential violence, say Government officials.

An additional 22 prisons have had the new equipment installed in the last six months, meaning 51 prisons across England and Wales now have the technology, which officials say has collectively already stopped more than 3,500 illegal items from getting into the hands of prisoners.

Prisons Minister, Alex Chalk, said: “The new technology is having a hugely positive impact, stemming the flow of contraband into jails and allowing staff to focus on rehabilitation.

A scanner of the sort installed at Doncaster Prison

“The scanners form part of our wider aim to transform prisons, stepping up security to cut crime and ultimately better protecting the public.”

John Hewitson, Serco Prison Director at HMP Doncaster, said the new scanners were helping stop illegal items from getting into the prison, located close to the town centre.

He said: “The introduction of this new technology is having a very positive impact on our ability to intercept illegal contraband.

“We take a zero-tolerance approach to people attempting to smuggle things like phones and drugs into the prison and we work closely with the police to prosecute anyone we find doing so.”

The scanners are being installed at prisons identified as most at risk of smuggling, says the Ministry of Justice.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.