MP pledges to fight until prisons are social media free after Tavis killer’s jail post
PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 February 2020
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has told the prisons minister of his deep concern over inmates posting on social meda from jail – and welcomed plans for body scanners to find hidden devices.
Mr Hunt labelled as "appalling" posts from some of the men involved in the killing of teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens on Ipswich's Nacton estate.
He met Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer to discuss his concerns and asked what was being done to prevent similar cases happening again in the future.
He was told £100million was to be spent in preventing contraband in prison, including on cutting-edge phone detection and blocking technology, enabling phones which do enter prison to be confiscated promptly.
Prison officers will be issued with new body scanners developed specifically for the Prison Service and will produce instant images from inside the human body, identifying items such as phones which have been secreted internally.
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Mr Hunt said: "I met with the Prisons Minister as part of my drive to put victims first and end social media in prison. This has been a priority for me in Parliament after a number of posts appeared online from some of the men behind the brutal killing of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens in Ipswich.
"Attention has been drawn to this issue and the minister has now gone into further detail with me on what is being done to combat this crime.
"The £100 million for new body scanners and resources targeted at cracking down on digital activity in prison is welcome and it is greatly needed to stop the additional pain caused to victims and their families by this criminal activity.
"I am also strongly of the belief that punishment for posting on social media from prison should also be part of the solution where any prisoner is found guilty and the minister has assured me that punishments are being dispensed where appropriate.
"These measures are an important step to ending social media in prisons. I'll be monitoring the roll-out of this technology closely and I'll continue to raise the issue until prisons are social media free."
The MP asked to meet the minister after a Facebook post surfaced in the name of Callum Plaats - one of five jailed for killing Tavis - boasting: "Five years left, light work."
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