Drugs seized from Doncaster prison visitors

HMP & YOI Doncaster, Marshgate, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 26-05-15 HMP Doncaster MC 5

HMP & YOI Doncaster, Marshgate, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 26-05-15 HMP Doncaster MC 5

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Items including drugs have been confiscated from visitors to Doncaster’s prisons more than a dozen times in the last six years, the Government has revealed.

Among the 15 items seized have been a number of legal highs, it was revealed in Parliament in answer to a question to the prisons minister.

HMP Doncaster, at Marshgate, had the most items confiscated from visitors, with seven items.

They included one seizure of amphetamines and one of an unspecified so called ‘legal high’. The other five confiscated items were not identified.

At Lindholme Prison, cannabis and a legal high called ‘spice’ were confiscated. A third confiscated item was unspecified.

Moorland Prison had five items seized from visitors. Three of those were the legal high ‘spice’ and the other two were unspecified.

The information was released in a written answer to a question from the shadow justice minister, Andrew Slaughter, who asked how many drugs of each type and how many other items were confiscated from visitors to each prison since 2010.

Andrew Selous, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for justice, provided the answers.

He said: “We have a range of security measures and searching techniques to prevent smuggling into prisons and to detect items of contraband including drugs.

“We have legislated to make smuggling New Psychoactive Substances into prison illegal, use specially trained dogs to detect illicit drugs and will evaluate the use of body scanners to reveal drugs concealed within the body.

“We refer all visitors to prisons found in possession of drugs to the police. We also use closed visits, where the prisoner and visitor are prevented from physical contact, to deal with visitors and prisoners who smuggle or are suspected of conveying drugs through visits.”

It was revealed last week drones, or unmanned flying units, were sighted three times inside the perimeter of Lindholme Prison last year.

Freedom of Information figures show staff at HMP Lindholme reported drones flying over the prison walls three times – but did not specify if it was being used for illegal activity such as smuggling drugs.

Other prisons, including HMP Ranby in Nottinghamshire, discovered drones smuggling mobile phones into the prison grounds.