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Prisons: Drugs

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many grams of (a) cannabis, (b) heroin and (c) cocaine have been found in prisons on (i) visitors, (ii) staff and (iii) prisoners in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. (290756)

The number of finds of cannabis, heroin and cocaine from April 2008 to March 2009 is shown in the table.

Drug

Number of finds

Cannabis

1,373

Heroin

764

Cocaine

238

It is important to note that many drugs are similar in appearance and in many cases finds of drugs are not categorically identified by scientific analysis.

Although NOMS records the number of occasions on which all drug types were found on it does not record centrally the weight of seizures or the type of drug found. To provide those details would require a manual investigation into each find at disproportionate cost.

The number of all drug finds from April 2008 to March 2009 is given in the table. The “other” category includes not only finds on staff but also the very many finds that are not attributable to a person, such as parcels that have been thrown over prison boundaries or found in communal areas. To disaggregate staff from the “other” category would also require a manual investigation into each find at disproportionate cost.

Found on

Number

Other

1,368

Visitors

701

Prisoners

155

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The data are not subject to audit.