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Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill 2017-19

Published Friday, June 22, 2018

The Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill 2017-19 is a private member’s bill, sponsored by Maria Caulfield. It would create a new power for the Secretary of State to authorise public communications providers (for example mobile phone network operators) to interfere with wireless telegraphy to disrupt unlawful mobile phone use in prisons. This Briefing Paper discusses the background to and content of the Bill.

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The Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill 2017-19 is a Private Member’s Bill, sponsored by Maria Caulfield (Conservative).  It would create a new power for the Secretary of State to authorise public communications providers (for example mobile phone network operators) to interfere with wireless telegraphy to disrupt unlawful mobile phone use in prisons.

The provisions of this bill replicate those contained in the Prisons and Courts Bill 2016-17. That Bill fell at the dissolution of Parliament for the 2017 general election. The Government, referring to pressures on legislative time, has said that though there will be new bills to cover some aspects of the bill that was lost, the prisons aspects will not be included. Therefore, the Government is supporting this Private Member’s Bill to seek to ensure that these provisions, concerning the disruption of unlawful mobile phone use in prisons, are passed into legislation.

The Explanatory Notes to the Bill have been prepared by the Ministry of Justice with the consent of Maria Caulfield.

 

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8160

Author: Jacqueline Beard

Topic: Prisons

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