The smuggling of banned items into and within prisons is the origin of many difficulties found in the prison system and an activity which prison authorities are always striving to stamp out. Even objects which might not sound very threatening can kill. A mobile telephone may not necessarily seem like a weapon, however it’s understood that they have been smuggled into prisons and used by gang members to set up criminal activity outside of prison.
The majority of smuggled objects however are plainly not made for much good at all. Over the past twelve months prison staff has made sixty four seizures including items such as a scalpel, scissors, tweezers, cameras, mobile phones and drugs.
Sadly what is most dissapointing concerning this information is that over the past two years eight lawyers or solictors visiting HMP Manchester had prohibited items seized. The information may be limited to one region of the UK but a west London solicitor could be doingexactly the same.
A London solicitor is no different to any other solicitor. This could be a much bigger problem than first anticipated and even though it is unpleasant to hear about lawyers and solicitors helping to smuggle goods into prison, this actually illustrates that almost any member of the public can visit an individual in prison and have a decent chance of smuggling in banned or illegal items.
At the moment if anyone is caught with illegal items will have it confiscated under the offender management act 2007. However the new Crime and Security Act is anticipated to become law in 2011 which is aimed at drastically deterring would be smugglers.
If found guilty, the repercussions for lawyers and solicitors would be extreme. At minimum the Solicitors Regulation Authority would investigate the case and take appropriate action which could end a career and at worst could result in prosecution and a prison sentance.
There is no doubting the dissatisfaction of hearing that people who have invested years in education and training in the legal system and then go on to break the law in such brainless behaviour. If you employ a well respected west London solicitor it is fair to expect that they have certain moral and ethical values.
It must be taken into consideration that the quantity of solicitors and lawyers found smuggling items into prisons is very low and nowhere near pandemic levels. Nevertheless the judiciary will have to look into the problem and make the necessary changes to the law and legal system.
What’s clear is that it’s totally unacceptable for prisoners to perform criminal activity from within prison using a smuggled mobile phone. Furthermore it is essential that the prison service does everything it can to stop items being smuggled in and having the legislation to enforce it.
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