Prisons: Drugs

Ministry of Justice written question – answered am ar 13 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Llafur, Mitcham and Morden

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a breakdown of drug incidents in prison by (a) drug type and (b) class since 2010.

Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Llafur, Mitcham and Morden

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a breakdown by substance type of the number of finds of controlled substances in prison since 2010.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Drug finds are classified as incidents in His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service published data. The number of incidents of drug finds, broken down by drug type can be found at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/64c143fad4051a00145a9422/8.__Finds_drug_type_data_tool.xlsx.

Please note the following caveats:

(1) It is important to consider with incidents of finds in prisons, that an increase in numbers may be as a result of more items being found, although not necessarily attributable to any one particular security counter-measure, rather than more items being present in prisons.

(2) More than one type of drug can be found in a single incident, therefore the sum of the drug types found will be higher than the total incidents.

(3) A new incident type was introduced in October 2015 to improve reporting of finds incidents. This included the introduction of several new drug types so the classifications are not directly comparable prior to this period. Buprenorphine, Gabapentin, Methadone, Pregabalin, Psychoactive substances, Steroids and Tramadol were all added during 2015-16, Benzodiazepines were added during 2016-17, and Ketamine was added during 2021-22. As a consequence the contents of the ‘other’ line will be different throughout the series

All prisons have a zero-tolerance approach to drugs. Our £100 million Security Investment Programme, aimed at reducing crime in prisons, including reducing the conveyance of illicit items such as drugs, was completed in March 2022. This investment delivered 75 additional X-ray body scanners resulting in full coverage across the closed adult male estate. Under this programme, all public sector sites have also been provided with next-generation drug trace detection machines. This technology enables prisons to detect attempts to convey drugs into prisons. The equipment is effective in identifying drugs that have been soaked onto letters, clothing and other items.

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