Saturday, September 11, 2010

Belgian jail tells barrister 'babes' to remove their bras

Angry female lawyers have complained that bored Belgian prison guards are forcing them to remove their bras by pretending that metal wiring and clasps in their underwear is setting off security scanners. Guards at Hasselt jail insist that the metal detectors used for their security checks on all visitors are so sensitive that even bras can set the scanners beeping.

Joseph Rowies, a representative of criminal barristers in the Flemish city, stressed that while women lawyers have no problem with the security checks they had spotted that the prettier the visitor, the more sensitive the scanner became. "The metal detection checks seem very difficult to carry out when a pretty, young lawyer or visitor reports to the prison gate. And then it becomes a little something to amuse the guards," he said. "Time and again they let the metal detector go off. First, the shoes, then the jewellery. And, since the detector still beeps, they demand that the lady in question take off her bra."

Mr Rowies has told the prison authorities that he is receiving at least one complaint a month from furious female barristers. “It always strikes me that the younger, and the more babe-like, a lawyer is, the more difficult the device becomes,” he said. "I've suggested that the prison guards to wear name tags so we can verify if it is always the same officers. But the management has refused for security reasons."

Laurent Sempot, a spokesman for Belgium's directorate-general of prisons, dismissed the claims as "far-fetched". "We have recently tested the metal detectors. They functioned perfectly," he said. "I've visited Hasselt prison several times with female colleagues and none of them was asked to loosen her bra."

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