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Scanners foil 28,000 jail smuggling attempts

January 16, 2023

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Prison body scanners have foiled more than 28,000 attempts to smuggle drugs, phones and weapons behind bars, the government had claimed.

The statistics cover the two years since 90 X-ray machines, which can produce high-res images of contraband, were installed at some men’s jails.

It is hoped to reduce the issues associated with dangerous, illegal goods getting into prison in Britain.

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, said: “Our tough, new security measures in prisons are putting prisoners back on the straight and narrow.

“Allied to our renewed drive to get prisoners off drugs for good, we are cutting crime and keeping the public safe.

“This new development comes just days after the government announced plans to roll out cutting-edge baggage scanners to 45 prisons across England and Wales.

“These will check bags brought in by the thousands of staff and visitors who enter prisons every day – cutting off another route of smuggling.

“Together these measures have kept mobile phones, drugs and improvised weapons out of the hands of prisoners where they would fuel violence and disorder.”

The government has been spending up to £125m in next-generation security measures at the country’s most challenging prisons, such as handheld and archway metal detectors and 150 sniffer dogs.

There has also been a focus on weeding out a ‘small minority’ of corrupt staff who help smuggling.

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A government statement said: “This investment has created a new team of specialist investigators to clamp down on the small minority of corrupt staff who have no place in the Prison Service.

“To clamp down on the pernicious smuggling of drugs via prison mail, jails have installed over 135 drug trace detection machines that can detect microscopic smears of new psychoactive substances such as ‘spice’ on letters and items of clothing.”

Since July 2020, 28,626 suspicious items were identified by new prison X-ray body scanners

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