Polmont YOI beefs up security to stop inmates climbing eight-feet high walls

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Reported incidents of young prisoners scaling internal walls has prompted Polmont Young Offenders Institution to increase security.

The facility in Redding, which has the capacity to hold 800 prisoners aged between 16 and 21, has ordered five new state-of-the-art CCTV cameras to be installed around the perimeter.

High-powered LED lights will also be fitted to provide a four-metre strip of light around the YOI.

According to the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), recent incidents – including young offenders being spotted on top of eight-feet high covered walkways which connect buildings in the prison grounds – have led Polmont to increase CCTV surveillance.

This means three new CCTV camera poles with state-of-the-art pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras will be installed, as well as lighting to enhance the CCTV footage of the perimeter of the YOI.

Lower Braes Councillor Adanna McCue said she was aware the YOI was installing the lights and the cameras and believed the SPS did not require planning permission from Falkirk Council to erect the new security measures because it was situated on Crown land and not on local authority land.

She added she had heard no complaints from local residents regarding the security issues at the YOI.

Back in 2012, in a joint operation between Central Scotland Police – as the local force was then known – and the SPS took a number of measures to stop drugs getting into Polmont YOI, including police officers patrolling the prison’s outer boundary.

Police even asked local residents to report any suspicious activity around Polmont YOI.

It was stated at that time security was so tight in the prison the easiest way for inmates to get illegal drugs and mobile phones inside was to have them thrown over the outer wall.