Unwanted Prisoner Contact
The national Unwanted Prisoner Contact Service prevents people from receiving unwanted contact from prisoners by blocking contact with registered names, addresses or phone numbers.
It is available to anyone, including victims and witnesses, and is there to help you if you are receiving any form of correspondence that makes you feel bullied, harassed, intimidated, or is simply not wanted.
The service can stop you getting unwanted:
- Phone calls
- Other messages from a prisoner
Requests to block contact can be made directly by the victim, on behalf of the victim with their consent, or by police, probation, victim services, friends, or family members of the victim without their consent. Each case will be assessed individually.
To request non-contact you will need to provide:
- Your name and contact details
- The prisoner’s name and prisoner number (if you know it)
- The name, address, telephone number and email address (if applicable) of the person(s) not to be contacted
To find out more, please watch the below video:
Frequently Asked Questions
What are prison non-contact provisions?
Any person can request HMPPS to take steps to prevent contact from a prisoner.
How do prisons prevent contact?
Each prisoner has a ‘social contacts’ list of people they can communicate with by telephone or letter. When someone requests ‘non-contact’ the name, telephone number(s) and address(s) are removed from this list.
What information do prisons need to prevent contact?
Provide a comprehensive list of names, addresses and all telephones numbers that you wish removed.
Why are non-contact provisions important?
These provisions protect victims and witnesses from unwanted contact. This is especially important if the victim is vulnerable or subject to controlling, coercive behaviour, exploitation, harassment or intimation. Preventing contact is critical in stopping further harm, maintaining confidence and supporting prosecutions.
Do I need consent to request non-contact on someone’s behalf?
You should always discuss a non-contact request with the person and ideally will have their consent for these requests. There will be occasions where a person does not consent but you might identify an over-riding safeguarding concern, Court Order or Bail condition that requires contact to be restricted. In these cases you should request non-contact and provide a detailed rationale to assist HMPPS in considering your request.
What should I do if contact continues?
Criminals will use various methods to circumvent the non-contact system. Always consider opportunities for prosecution - use of illicit mobile phones in prison, witness intimidation, any breach of Court Order and alike. Always report this contact through the unwanted prisoner contact service which alerts the prison and enables them to expand their response - cell searches etc.
How do I submit a request on behalf of a victim?
- Telephone: 0300 060 6699
- Online: https://gov.uk/stop-prisoner-contact
How long will it take once the request is submitted?
Once the request has been submitted, it will be sent to the relevant prison within one working day. If authorised, the block will be implemented within two working days.
What happens if the victim changes their mind regarding the request?
They would have to contact the select prison involved in order to do this. Details will be provided on how to contact once the request has been authorised.
Will this replace the need to gain court orders in order to stop contact?
No this will NOT replace the need to gain court orders for the victim. Please utilise this method in stopping contact for those housed within HMPPS, however a court order allows more legal grounding for the victim and should still be used as a method of preventing or stopping contact.
Do CPS need to know I am considering/have submitted the request?
Yes, please when communicating with CPS through your digital case files inform them of this request being submitted or considered. This could be vital information showing offender behaviour and/or future prosecutions if the contact continues.
What is the prisoner told when the request has been authorised?
Prisoners are made aware that a non-contact request can be made by anyone and can be done on behalf of the person whose contact is blocked. The only information given to the prisoner is the person’s name who cannot be contacted.
Do the requests go with the prisoner if they move establishments?
Yes. The request will stay with the prisoner throughout their term and regardless of movement of establishment. If the original request made was without the victim’s consent, this will be reviewed on a regular basis and upon movement of the prisoner.
What happens when the prisoner is released?
Information regarding the request will be passed onto the Community Offender Manager where this will be considered upon their own risk assessment and management of the prisoner.
Page last reviewed November 2023.