Phones in jail ‘undermines’ prison

2015-07-21 06:00

About 100 electronic devices were confiscated from prisoners in Pollsmoor prison last weekend; half of these being cellphones.

Dan Plato, provincial minister of community safety, says inmates’ access to communicating at will with the outside world undermines the hard work done by the police and the judicial system.

“The police spend valuable time and resources to gather the necessary evidence to ensure that criminals are put behind bars, and situations where these gangsters and drug lords are allowed continued access to the outside world severely undermines the police’s efforts to keep our communities safe,” he says.

Plato says stronger and continued action is required against any inmate found with any communication device as well as against any prison employee found to be aiding it.

The department of correctional services is apparently implementing cellphone detection technology at Pollsmoor. Plato says he has requested both the national minister of correctional services and the acting provincial police commissioner to update him on the use of communication devices in prisons, the impact it has on crime prevention outside prisons, as well as how involved crime intelligence are in combating it.

“If we are to have any measurable impact in combatting crime and organised crime related to gangs and drugs in the province we will all have to play our part,” he says.

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