Female lawyers are complaining about security checks at a Belgian prison. They say guards are pretending metal in bras is setting off scanners and insisting the undergarments be removed.
While guards at Hasselt jail insist the metal detectors are simply very sensitive, Joseph Rowies, a representative of the area’s criminal barristers, said it has been noticed that the scanner appears to be more sensitive when checks are being done on attractive women.
"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," The Telegraph reported him as telling Het Nieuwsblad.
"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."
Rowies said he is receiving at least one complaint each month.
“It always strikes me that the younger, and the more babe-like, a lawyer is, the more difficult the device becomes,” he added.
It is not known whether the same officers are always involved, as they wear no visible identification.
Rowies suggested they wear name tags but that idea was rejected for security reasons.
Laurent Sempot, a spokesman for Belgium's directorate-general of prisons, said the scanners were tested and were working perfectly.
"I've visited Hasselt prison several times with female colleagues and none of them was asked to loosen her bra," he said.
Earlier this year, a lawyer in Miami was unable to see her client because of wire in her bra.
The Miami Herald reported that when a metal detector was set off by the wire in Brittney Horstman’s bra, she went to a bathroom and removed it. Guards at the Miami Federal Detention Center then refused to let her enter because going braless was against the dress code for the facility.