X-ray machines to be installed in Norwich prison
- Credit: Archant
State-of-the-art body scanners are being installed at Norwich Prison in a bid to crack down on contraband being smuggled into the jail.
HMP Norwich, on Knox Road, is one of 16 "challenging" prisons across the country to receive tough new security measures as part of a major government project to reduce crime behind bars.
The X-ray machines, which have been specifically developed for the prison service, are able to produce instant images of inside the human body, revealing any internally concealed contraband, such as drugs, mobile phones or weapons.
The images produced by the scanners provide a level of detail not previously seen before in the prison service.
The first prisons to receive the cutting-edge technology all have high volumes of remand prisoners, who are deemed to pose the greatest risk of smuggling.
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The X-ray scanners, which are costing £28m to install across the prison system, are being funded by a £100m government funding package designed to boost security in prisons.
The investment will fund new measures to tackle drugs and violence in prisons, including X-ray baggage scanners and metal detection equipment, phone-blocking technology and a new digital forensics facility.
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Gary Monaghan, prison group director for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, said: "New X-ray body scanners will be a vital part of our drive to reduce drug addiction and tackle the criminals trafficking them into our jails.
"Reducing the supply of drugs will help to cut violence and enable us to create a safer environment for both staff and prisoners, allowing us to focus on rehabilitative and education work."
Lucy Frazer QC, minister for prisons and probation, said: "New technology is a vital part of our efforts to stop those determined to wreak havoc in our jails.
"These scanners will help to stem the flow of contraband into jails and allow officers to focus on rehabilitation.
"We're investing £2.75bn to transform our prisons, creating 10,000 additional modern places, and stepping up security to cut crime and better protect the public."
The installation at HMP Norwich will begin in spring 2020, with all scanners expected to be in place by the summer.