Prisons: Drugs

Justice written question – answered on 14th January 2010.

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Photo of Humfrey Malins Humfrey Malins Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many persons have been convicted of (a) attempting to smuggle and (b) smuggling drugs into prison in each of the last five years.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

Recorded and published crime data relating to the supply and attempted supply of drugs offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 are not disaggregated to those involving prisons. Obtaining the detailed data as requested would require contacting prisons, police forces and courts and could be done only at disproportionate cost.

From 1 April 2008, in order to strengthen the penalties for smuggling contraband into a prison, an offence under section 22 of the Offender Management Act 2007 was created for the conveyance of drugs into a prison. The offence carries a penalty of up to 10 years and or an unlimited fine. Other offences relating to conveying other contraband into a prison were also created.

From April 2009, indictable and triable-either-way offences contained in the Offender Management Act have been included in the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime. Offences under the Act are recorded by police and will be published in next year's annual statistical bulletin, Crime in England and Wales (July 2010).

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