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Inmate-owned tough mobile phones may be destroyed or sold

We often write about tough mobile phones, but not about tough mobile phone owners – by which we mean handset owners who are tough.

Well, with discussions about what is to be done with mobiles which are seized from prisoners being kept at her majesty's pleasure, now we have the chance.

Inmates are not allowed to have handsets while incarcerated, and as a result around 41,000 mobiles are being stored by prisons so that they can be given back to their owners when his or her sentence comes to an end.

However, this costs £20,000 annually, so one MP has stated that the handsets should either be destroyed (perhaps not that easily if it's a rugged mobile phone) or sold to raise money for charities which help the victims of crime.

Tory MP Stuart Andrew states, "Currently there is nothing in law giving any powers to governors to destroy property that prisoners should not have…any items seized have to be stored by governors and kept in safe-keeping for the duration of the prisoner's term.

"These are all waiting to be claimed by people who frankly shouldn't have had them in the first place."

It seems only right that inmates do not have access to their mobiles for the duration of their stay behind bars. Having a handset is a luxury, one which many would argue prisoners should not be allowed while undergoing rehabilitation and hopefully thinking about the error of their ways.

The bill which would allow the destruction or selling on of criminals' handsets is to be discussed by a committee of MPs after having passed unopposed in the recent Commons debate.

We just hope it won't lead to any great tough mobile phones being destroyed – we believe they should be sold on so that they can be of benefit to another more deserving owner, or at the very least help make money for charity.