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Prisons: Smuggling

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many prison officers have been (a) arrested and (b) convicted of smuggling goods into prison in each year since 1997; (247715)

(2) how many prison officers have been arrested whilst on duty at prisons in the last 12 months.

All staff in the public sector prison service are expected to meet high standards of professional and personal conduct. Allegations of staff misconduct, which are potentially criminal in nature, are referred to the police for investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution.

The particular information requested in these questions is not held centrally. However, a breakdown of the information on the numbers of staff prosecuted for bringing drugs into a prison establishment in each of the last three years is shown as follows:

Calendar year

Number of staff prosecuted







1 Covers the period 1 January to 19 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps are being taken to reduce smuggling of goods into prisons. (247716)

Governors deploy a comprehensive range of robust searching techniques and security measures as part of their individual searching strategies in order to detect drugs, mobile phones and other contraband and prevent smuggling into establishments.

With regard to drugs and mobile phones, the Government have accepted and are working towards implementing all recommendations contained within David Blakey’s report “Disrupting the supply of illicit drugs into prisons”.