Lock, Unlock, Relock At Feltham

By Hazel Last edited 152 months ago
Lock, Unlock, Relock At Feltham

They went to Feltham Young Offenders' Institution, went on TV, they broke a few rules, cost the taxpayer a hell of a lot of money... and they're the ITV News film crew.

The crew were among the broadcast and print journalists invited to the West London institution for last Thursday's publication of the release of Mr Justice Keith's report into the racist murder of Zahid Mubarek, who died in a horrible attack when made to share a cell with a noted racist thug. The news programme is alleged to have shown footage of prison keys in its report - and promptly opened what is commonly known as "a can of worms." In this case, a quite expensive can of worms

It's been confirmed that last Friday Feltham Young Offenders' Institution went through a complete "re-lock" because of ITV's little braodcasting cock-up. Reporters, photographers and camera operators are warned not to record any footage or images of keys or locks inside Feltham because they may well be used to compromise security and anyone caught with forbidden footage and stills are liable for the cost of a "re-lock" if they publish or broadcast these items.

Friday's "re-lock" was no small job: "The cost to the taxpayer of replacing the 11,000 locks and 3,200 keys at Feltham is thought to be £250,000." However, due to security reasons - which is naturally a major concern for the instution's staff - there was no comment from the Prison Servie as to whether or not the invited journalists had been thoroughly briefed on the penalties of capturing security equipment on camera.

Mark Leech, the editor of the Prisons Handbook, nonetheless thinks that ITV should be billed for the cost of the re-lock if found to be responsible for the security breach.

"It is hardly rocket science that you do not film a prison key from which others can make a copy - let alone then transmit the image nationwide."

It may not be easy to copy keys from a film still - but we've all seen The Shawshank Redemption, The Great Escape, The Green Mile etc. etc. We know that where there is a will, there is a way... where there is a film crew, there is a way out...

Last Updated 05 July 2006