Prisons: Drug Smuggling

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th April 2018.

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Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton 12:00 am, 24th April 2018

What steps the Government are taking to prevent the smuggling of drugs into prisons.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

We have invested in improving security through the use of body searches and metal-detecting technology in every prison. We are also trialling new X-ray body scanners to reveal more hidden items. We have invested £3 million to establish national and regional intelligence units in Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service which, with prisons, probation and law enforcement partners, are building intelligence about the highest-risk offenders.

Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. My local newspaper, Clacton Gazette, recently ran a story about the use of drones to deliver drugs into prisons. Short of shooting the damn things down, what is the Department going to do about that?

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

I thank my hon. Friend for his question and his suggestion. We are taking decisive steps to tackle drones bringing contraband into prisons. Under Operation Trenton, Prison Service and police investigators intercept drones and track down the criminals behind them. There have been at least 32 convictions to date, with those sentenced serving in total more than 100 years in prison.