Staff at Doncaster prison use new devices to help with social distancing during pandemic

Staff at a Doncaster prison are using special devices to help with social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 2:46 pm

Serco, the prison operator that runs HMP Doncaster, has handed out personal proximity sensors to staff following a successful trial at HMP Lowdham Grange in Nottinghamshire.

The Pathfindr sensor is a small device worn by prison custody officers and other staff members which provides a loud warning sound when another person comes within two metres of them.

Serco said maintaining social distance in prisons is challenging given the design and layout of the buildings, which include narrow walkways, together with the number of inmates and staff members.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Prison Custody Officers at HMP Doncaster are using new devices which help with social distancing

But a trial at HMP Lowdham Grange reduced the number of occasions when social distancing rules were broken.

Wyn Jones, Serco’s Custodial Operation Director, said: “Serco is very pleased at the success of this trial and we believe this device will help us to keep everyone safe, limit the spread of Covid amongst our staff and prisoners and reduce the number of staff absences due to track and trace relating to social distancing.

“Our top priority is to keep everyone in prison safe and well and everybody understands that maintaining social distancing in prisons essential in order to limit the spread of Covid.”

Visits to inmates at HMP Doncaster are currently suspended in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

A statement on the website reads: “This decision has not been taken lightly however we must follow the guidelines and keep you, our staff and the men in our care safe.”