Visitor information

Security

ALL visitors, whether they have visited before or if it is their first time visiting, must bring a photographic ID and proof of current address with them for every visit and must be able to clearly identify themselves as the person that they are claiming to be. The proof of address must match the address submitted by the prisoner when booking the visit. If you are unable to provide this or the addresses do not match then you will not be permitted to enter.

What identification is needed?

The following forms of photo identification are acceptable:

  • Passport (maximum one year out of date)
  • Valid Photo Driving Licence- photo bearing
  • Senior Citizens public transport pass- Photo bearing (Freedom pass)
  • Annual public transport season ticket- Photo Bearing (must be in date)
  • Employers ID Card which must show; name of visitor, employers name, photograph of bearer
  • European ID card- photo bearing
  • Student ID Card which must show; name of visitor, Education establishment, photograph of bearer (must be in date)

Acceptable forms for proof of address:

  • Bill/bank statement with address that matches visitors details (dated within 3 Months)
  • Old style driving licence (paper copy)

Acceptable forms of ID for children under the age of 18 years old:

  • Passport (maximum one year out of date)
  • Valid Photo Driving Licence- photo bearing
  • Senior Citizens public transport pass- Photo bearing (Freedom pass)
  • Annual public transport season ticket- Photo Bearing (must be in date)
  • Employers ID Card which must show; name of visitor, employers name, photograph of bearer
  • European ID card- photo bearing
  • Student ID Card which must show; name of visitor, Education establishment, photograph of bearer (must be in date)
  • Bill/bank statement with address that matches visitors details (dated within 3 Months)
  • Old style driving licence (paper copy)
  • Babies Red book (valid for children under 5 years old
  • Birth Certificate
  • Young person's proof of age card (Zip oyster cards accepted)
  • Passport

Who can visit?

Can children visit?

Children under the age of 18 can only visit if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If the adult accompanying the child is not the parent, they must produce paperwork to prove guardianship.

The parent or legal guardian must produce the child’s birth certificate as proof of identity.

Children must remain under visitor supervision at all times.

Can ex-prisoners visit?

Ex-prisoners can visit subject to security clearance. This will be carried out as part of their registration process.

Can an offender with a tagging licence visit?

Any offender with tagging licence conditions must write into the Director requesting permission to visit. This will be considered and a formal written response will be send to the offender clarifying the decision. If cleared to visit the offender must be in possession of the licence on arrival. The conditions will be assessed prior to entry to ensure the offender is not in breach of conditions by entering the Establishment. If the offender is not in possession of the licence they will not be granted access to visit until the conditions have been seen.

Appropriate clothing

All visitors at HMP Thameside must be appropriately dressed at all times. Failure to comply will result in you being refused entry to the establishment. The following resitrctions apply to all visits of all ages. This is by no means a complete list and is reviewed regularly. 

Tops

  • No short or cropped tops that reveal naked midriff
  • No outdoor coats or jackets
  • No items with hoods
  • No see-through tops or tops that expose cleavage
  • No sports shirts with team logos
  • No alter neck or backless tops
  • No vests/string vests
  • No backless tops
  • No body warmers
  • Bra’s must be worn and covered by clothing (unless you have a medical note to state otherwise)

Bottoms

  • Shorts and skirts must be knee length or below the knee No mini-skirts
  • Only one pair of shorts or trousers to be worn
  • Leggings must not be see-through, rear half must be covered by a top
  • No trousers with holes/rips or anything that exposes the skin
  • No see-through legwear or skirts
  • Jeans need to be pulled up around waist
  • Jeans need to be pulled up around the waist
  • No ripped jeans
  • Knickers and briefs must be worn and covered by clothing

Accessories

  • No sunglasses
  • No watches
  • No scarfs
  • No gloves
  • No jewellery that poses a health and safety risk, e.g bracelets with sharp edges
  • No hats or head wear unless it can be verified by a member of the team or religious reasons
  • No item of clothing considered to be bearing offensive or racist print

Footwear

  • No over-the-knee boots
  • No Stilettos (mid heels are acceptable)
  • No steel toe caps

Other items

  • No tissues
  • No ID's e.g passport, driving license etc
  • No car keys
  • No wallets
  • No glasses cases
  • No hankerchiefs or cloths
  • No sunglasses
  • No jewellery that poses a health and safety risk
  • No hats and head wear unless it is verified by a member of the pastoral team to be for religious purposes
  • No items of clothing that may be considered to be bearing offensive or racist print

Please Note: Children under the age of 10 years old are permitted to wear one coat or jacket.

What can be taken in?

Unauthorised items

  • Drugs of any Kind
  • Mobile Phones
  • Food and/or Drink
  • Weapons
  • Sunglasses
  • Metal Hair Slides
  • Lighters/Matches
  • Bluetac
  • Push Chairs
  • Watches
  • Nappies and/or Wipes
  • Chewing Gum
  • Electrical/Electronic Items
  • Bags of Any Kind
  • Cigarettes
  • Any Tools
  • Badges/Pins
  • Hats/Gloves/Scarfs
  • Photographs
  • Liquids of Any Kind
  • £20 Notes (Maximum of £20.00 is allowed in to the Visits Hall)

Note: Baby milk is only permitted for children under 1 years.

This is by no means a complete list and is reviewed regularly. You may be refused a visit if staff deem an item to fall into one or more of these catagories.

Penalties for taking items that are banned into prison

Conveyance of Prohibited Items and Other Related Offences

Amendments to the Prison Act came into force in April 2008 which make it a criminal offence for certain items to be used, brought into or taken out of prisons. It is a criminal offence for any person without authority:

i. to bring or throw any of the following items in or out of a prison or to cause another person to do so, to leave any of the following items in any place (in or out of the prison) intending it to come into the possession of a prisoner or to give to a prisoner any of the following items:

  • A controlled drug, an explosive a firearm or other offensive weapon.
    Maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.
     
  • Alcohol, a mobile telephone, a camera or a sound-recording device including watch with recording and camera facilities.
    Maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.
     
  • Tobacco, money, clothing, food, drink, letters, papers, books, tools, IT equipment and associated peripherals. 
    Maximum penalty is a £1000 fine.
     
  • It is an offence to take a photograph or make a sound recording within a prison or convey an official document or photograph or personal file in or out of a prison, or transmit any image, sound or information electronically from within a prison for simultaneous reception outside a prison.
    Maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine or both.

Criminal prosecutions will be pursued against those found to be in deliberate breach of the above provisions. Criminal prosecutions will be pursued against those found to be in breach of the above Prison Act 2008 provisions.

New Psychoactive Substances:

Many of these substances are not legal and anyone found in possession or observed passing these substances will be subject to Criminal Prosecutions being pursued.

Can money and property be taken in for a prisoner?

Can money be taken in for a prisoner?

Visitors cannot give money to a prisoner during visits but they can send money to a prisoner’s account.

To make a secure payment for a prisoner at HMP Thameside, please browse to the below website:

www.secure-payment-services.com

To make a payment, you will need to know the Prisoner/NOMs number for the prisoner.

Any payments made will be processed throughout office hours (09:00 - 17:00, Monday - Friday). If you have any concerns regarding your payment, please contact the Secure Payment Services on 03333 70 65 50.

HMP Thameside staff can not divulge the Prisoner/NOMs number. Please contact the prisoner or associated solicitor for this information.

Can property be taken in for a prisoner?

All property must be handed into the visitor centre within 30 days of the prisoner arriving at HMP Thameside.

Property allowance:

  • 10 T-shirts/ vests (No hoods, offensive slogans, sport team affiliated tops, no camouflaged, no plain white collar)
  • 2 Jumpers (No hoods, offensive slogans, sport team affiliated tops, no black/navy, no camouflaged)
  • 1 Jacket/Coat (No hoods, leather, quilted or doubled line, must not be black/navy, no camouflaged)
  • 10 Boxers/Socks (for each item)
  • 4 Trousers/Jogging Bottoms (no black/camouflaged)
  • 3 Shoes/Trainers (no buckles, steel toe caps or boots)
  • 1 Belt with Standard Buckle only
  • 1 Pair of Flip-flops/slippers
  • 2 Sets of Pyjamas (no black/navy)
  • 1 Suit for Court (Shirt, tie, blazer, trousers, smart shoes.)
  • Reading glasses/Case
  • Books (although the prisoner will only be allowed up to 10 at a time)

This is by no means a complete list and is reviewed regularly. One of more of your items may be refused if staff deem it to fall into one or more forbidden catagories.