Fifteen inmates have been caught running social media profiles while serving prison sentences at a north-east jail, it can be revealed.
Since 2014, the Scottish Prison Service has detected or received complaints about 21 HMP Grampian prisoners allegedly setting up accounts on websites such as Facebook and Twitter – despite there being severe restrictions about inmates’ access to the internet.
The figures, obtained by the Evening Express using freedom of information laws, show no action was taken in six cases, while 15 prisoners had their profiles shut down by internet providers.
Wemyss was handed a 10-year prison sentence in 2013 for trying to kill three police officers.
Three posts on the profile – which is being investigated by the Scottish Prison Service – showed him posing with other inmates inside the Peterhead superjail, while another showed views from the prison with the accompanying tagline “The Grampian Resort”.
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The figures show HMP Grampian ranks joint third out of 15 prisons for prisoners’ social media profiles that have been removed since 2018.
North-east Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles said: “Staff are doing a good job of ensuring that unauthorised accounts are removed.
“Contact with family and friends can be an important part of the rehabilitation process but it must be carried out through supervised and legitimate channels.”
Scottish Conservative justice spokesman and North-East MSP Liam Kerr said: “Prison is meant to contain an element of punishment for inmates.
“Being prevented from setting up and running social media accounts and ensuring they can’t have a laugh online is part of that punishment.
“Victims of crime and their families will be disappointed to learn that being ‘put away’ has little impact on some inmates.”
A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman said: “We do not permit access to the internet.
“We cannot close social media profiles. Upon identification of a profile for a prisoner, we request removal from the site.”