Introduction of proximity sensor devices at HMP Doncaster which give out a warning noise

Serco, the specialist prison operator that runs six prisons in the UK is introducing a personal proximity sensor at HMP Doncaster.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:27 pm

The Pathfindr sensor, a small device worn by Prison Custody Officers when on duty on the prison houseblocks as well as by office-based support teams, provides a loud audible warning when another person comes closer than two metres.

Maintaining social distance in prisons is challenging, given the design and layout of the buildings, which include narrow walkways outside cells, together with the number of people resident and working in a prison.

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Prison staff try out the new sensors

The trial at HMP Lowdham Grange used 50 sensors and Officers involved found the devices easy to use and reliable. Most importantly they made them more aware of social distancing and as a result, they helped maximise adherence to social distancing wherever operationally possible, reducing the number of occasions when the two metre social distancing rules were broken.

Commenting on the use of the Pathfindr sensor, Wyn Jones, Serco Custodial Operation Director, said: “Serco is very pleased at the success of this trial and we believe this device will help us to keep everyone safe, limit the spread of Covid amongst our staff and prisoners and reduce the number of staff absences due to track and trace relating to social distancing.”

“Our top priority is to keep everyone in prison safe and well and everybody understands that maintaining social distancing in prisons essential in order to limit the spread of Covid.”

The new proximity sensors

With the successful completion of the trial, Serco has now introduced the sensors into each of the other prisons it runs in the UK.

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