Boris Johnson plans massive £100m fund to tackle prison crisis in promise to serve justice

BORIS JOHNSON is set to splash out on prisons in England and Wales, pledging £100m to improve security and cut crime.

The improvements will see airport-style security introduced into prisons in order to prevent inmates and visitors from exchanging and carrying weapons, drugs and phones. X-ray scanners and metal detectors are among some of the pieces of equipment set to be placed throughout prisons in order to prevent them becoming “factories for making bad people worse”. The move comes after Mr Johnson announced a programme that would make room for an extra 10,000 additional prison places.

Following a surge in violent crime in England and Wales, the Prime Minister also said the Crown Prosecution Service would receive an extra £85m over the next two years.

Mr Johnson reasoned that the fresh investment was important because the public must “see justice being done, punishment being served and feel protected.”

Though most prisons in the UK already have airport style security, many are struggling financially.

These prisons are the targets for the investment, to help prevent drug smugglers from “fuelling a rise in violence and self-harm”.

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Boris Johnson promises huge £100m to tackle crime

Boris Johnson promises huge £100m to tackle crime (Image: GETTY)

Improvements will see airport style security

Improvements will see airport style security (Image: GETTY)

January saw a record high number of assaults in prions in England and Wales; a 20percent rise on the previous year.

The Ministry of Justice said the £100m funding was newly released by the Treasury and would be made immediately available.

The investment will fund “cutting edge technology” to detect and “block mobile phones”, which criminals and organised gangs use to plan the incoming of drug supplies.

The technology will also aim to prevent the harassment of inmates in their cells.

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Financially struggling prisons will be targeted

Financially struggling prisons will be targeted (Image: GETTY)

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said there was a direct link between crime in prison and “crime on our streets”.

"This funding will have a transformative effect on prisons and give our hard-working officers the advantage as they tackle this scourge head-on," he said.

The shadow justice secretary Richard Burton, however, was sceptical at how effective the investment will be.

He said Mr Johnson is “timidly tinkering at the edges” and raged at “reckless Tory cuts to staffing and budgets” that had led to “unprecedented levels of violence in our prisons”.

Liberal Democrat justice spokeswomen Were Hobhouse said the injection of money will be a “hollow move” and that the money should be targeted at rehabilitation to stop people committing crimes in the first place.