Buy home insurance - from convicted burglars
What’s better than a cold call? A cold call from a BURGLAR, of course! Yes, prisoners are earning £20 a week selling home insurance from a makeshift call centre in the clink.
As part of a rehabilitation scheme, prisoners from HMP Oakwood in Wolverhampton and Drake Hall women’s prison in Staffordshire do the work for a market research company, and read from prepared scripts. Part of their job is to ask for personal details and postcodes, and they also have to enquire about the value of their possessions, including any large items of particular worth. Reassuring, eh?
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice defended the scheme, saying: ‘We do not want prisoners sitting idle in their cells when they should be working towards their rehabilitation. We prepare offenders for work inside prison so they can get a job after release – this reduces the chances that they will reoffend in the future, meaning lower crime and fewer victims. All prisoners working in call centres are risk-assessed and stringent security measures are in place, with calls supervised and recorded.’
He added that prisoners weren’t allowed to take pens into the call centre. But that slightly overlooks the fact that criminals, by their very nature, are a little bit crafty. Maybe they’ll use their MEMORY to write the details down later?
Rehabilitation is a wonderful thing, but it also might be a good idea to check the cells for stripey tops, bags marked ‘SWAG’ and little books entitled ‘Houses What I am Gunna Knock Off Next.’