Chapter 7: Referral of Prohibited Item Offences to the Police
Main Factors for Consideration in Decisions to Refer Incidents to the Police
Process for Reporting Prohibited Item Offences to the Police
Seriousness of the Alleged Offence
Detailed Guidance for Each Prohibited Item
Liaison With Local CJS Partners
Minimising Difficulties in Demonstrating the Required Knowledge or Intent in Prohibited item Offences
Annex 1: Examples of Types of Authorisation Annex 2: Authorisations Under Section 40B and 40E of the Prison Act Annex 3: Extensions to Crown Immunity Annex 4: Model Information Notices Annex 5: List of Organisations Consulted Annex 6: Changes to Signs Outside Prisons Annex 7: Changes to the Prison Act Introduced by the Offender Management Act 2007 and the Crime and Security Act 2010 Annex 8: Revised Prison Rules Annex 9: IT Equipment – Legal Advisers at Court
This PSI updates and replaces PSO 1100, Conveyance of Unauthorised Articles and Other Related Offences, which was issued in 2008 to describe amendments to the Prison Act and Prison Rules arising from sections 21-24 of the Offender Management Act 2007.
This updated PSI amends guidance and instruction to take into account the commencement of section 45 of the Crime and Security Act 2010 which amends the Prison Act and makes the possession of a device capable of transmitting or receiving images, sounds or information by electronic communication a criminal offence, together with any component part of such a device or article designed or adapted for use with such a device. The main amendments are as follows:
Introduction of a new chapter (chapter 4) outlining the new possession offences
Introduction of a new chapter (chapter 7) including comprehensive guidance on referring prohibited item offences to the police
Revisions to the authorisation table at Annex 1 to take into account the possession offences – inclusion of section 4.7 and section 5 within the table at Annex 1.
Inclusion at Annex 2, section B, of a central authorisation for solicitors to convey into and out of prisons and possess and use within prisons IT equipment necessary for legal visits – see also instruction at paragraph 5.19-5.28
Inclusion at Annex 2, section C, of a central authorisation for police to convey into and out of prisons and possess within prisons certain restricted items on routine visits to prisons and on visiting prisons during incidents/operational emergencies – see also instruction at paragraph 5.30-5.32
Inclusion at Annex 2, section D, of a central authorisation for escort contractors GEOAmey to convey into and out of prisons and use within these prisons data recording devices for operational purposes – see also instruction at paragraph 5.16.
Inclusion at Annex 4 of example notices to staff, prisoners and social visitors and official visitors on the possession offences
New wording for signage to be displayed outside prisons included at Annex 6
Revisions to Prison Act to include new offences included at Annex 7
New Annex 9 containing guidance on legal advisors bringing IT equipment into court
The PSI contains guidance on measures that Governors and Directors of contracted out prisons must take to implement the provision of both sections from the Offender Management Act and Crime and Security Act.
Desired outcomes That the measures introduced will ensure tighter control of items being brought into, taken out of and possessed within prisons. These measures also provide the option to pursue criminal charges against anyone in beach of the relevant sections of the Prison Act.
Application This PSI is applicable to all prison establishments.
Mandatory Actions Governors and Directors of contracted out prisons must ensure that local arrangements take into account the new possession offences and are consistent with the guidance and instruction provided. In addition, Governors and Directors of contracted out prisons must ensure that:
briefing/information notices are produced for all Prison Act offences covered in this PSI and made available to prisoners, staff and social and professional visitors. Model information notices that may be adapted for local use are provided at Annex 4. Annex 5 lists organisations who have been advised of the provisions and offences;
authorities for conveying and/or use and/or possession of items restricted by the Act are issued where appropriate in accordance with Chapter 5. The last column in Annex 1 lists some examples where Governors and Directors of contracted out prisons will need to consider issuing a local authorisation (or gaining agreement from the Deputy Directors of Custody to issue a local authorisation);
consider any other legitimate activity which has not been authorised centrally (see Annex 1) and, if necessary, issue a local authorisation to cover this activity – see Chapter 5;
ensure local lists of prohibited items, as set out in Local Security Strategies are considered to ensure that they are consistent with this legislation;
consider producing local lists to clarify duties. Annex 1 flags areas where Governors and Directors of contracted out prisons might consider clarifying the duties of staff to explicitly state which staff would normally convey or use prohibited items and be covered by Crown Immunity and which staff would not – see Chapter 5 (paras 5.6 to 5.9);
signs laying out penalties for committing offences under the Prison Act covered in this PSI are ordered and displayed outside the prison. The penalties have now changed and the new sign is shown at Annex 6. Coldingley prison are aware of the changes and prisons must ensure that they have ordered new signs from Coldingley to replace the existing signs and they are displayed on commencement of the new provisions;
this issue is discussed at the Prison/PCT Partnership Board to ensure that the implications for staff employed by the NHS and other healthcare providers are fully considered and appropriate action taken where required;
consider storage facilities available for professional visitors who may arrive by public transport with unauthorised items such as mobile phones. In addition, where staff lockers are just inside the gate lock, Governors of public sector prisons may wish to consider requesting an authorisation from the Deputy Director of Custody for staff to bring mobile phones into the prison up to the point where lockers are positioned (see section 5.14).
Paragraph 5.40 provides further details on actions to be taken.
Resource Impact The majority of the provisions contained within this PSI are derived from the Offender Management Act and should have been implemented at a local level on introduction of PSO 1100 in 2008. However, there will be some resource implications in implementing the new Crime and Security Act offences. Governors and Directors of contracted out prisons will need to appoint someone to review existing lists of unauthorised items to ensure consistency with the new Act and to communicate the implications of the new measures to the prison. Establishments will also need to ensure that local arrangements for referring prohibited item and other related offences to the police reflect guidance provided in chapter 7.