Reducing crime in prisons is a key priority. We are delivering on our commitment to invest £100 million in bolstering prison security and clamping down on the weapons, drugs and mobile phones that fuel violence and crime behind bars. This investment enhances security at the entry point to prisons, using the latest technology, and strengthens staff resilience to corruption, as well as targeting organised criminals who exploit prisons as a lucrative market.
As the Minister says, many of the crimes committed in prison are related to illegal contraband that finds its way inside. Constituents who live close to Thorn Cross Prison in Appleton Thorn in my constituency have told me about their increasing worry about daylight drops in gardens that border the open prison. Could the Minister tell me what steps he is taking and what residents can do to address that real concern, particularly where children are playing in gardens and their parents are concerned for their welfare?
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that important point on behalf of his constituents. The Government’s £100 million investment to prevent crime in prison has enabled hundreds of security items to be purchased that will assist his constituents, including 176 search dogs, 300 metal detection archways and wands, mobile phone detection technology and 51 X-ray body scanners. We have also developed clear guidance for prisons on managing trespassers within the open estate, including protocols on reporting evidence to the police and addressing the site-specific security risks. I would be happy to meet my hon. Friend to discuss the matter further if that would be helpful.