Police join prison service in drugs campaign

West Yorkshire Police and the Prison Service are joining forces in the festive season to target people who attempt to smuggle drugs into prisons.

Officers will be using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify and stop any suspicious vehicles in the area, mounted police will be patrolling outside prisons, as well as running operations using ANPR technology to identify and stop any suspicious vehicles in the area.

Visitors will also be searched as they enter prison.

West Yorkshire Police drugs co-ordinator Bryan Dent said: "We already have good working links with our colleagues from all the prisons in West Yorkshire, but this new initiative will ensure we become more effective. It is in everyone's interest that people who are in prison are released drug free, otherwise upon release they very quickly reoffend to pay for their drug habit.

"I'd like to warn people who are thinking about trying to smuggle drugs into prison that they will be caught and face serious consequences. All agencies in West Yorkshire are determined to demonstrate their commitment to making the county a safer place and ensuring prison is a hostile environment for drugs supply. We are all working towards making prisons a better place to rehabilitate prisoners."

The governor of HMP Leeds, Paul Baker, said: "When drugs get into prisons, it undermines all the good work taking place to rehabilitate offenders.

"Drugs cause violence and intimidation inside prison and obviously make it much harder for offenders to become and remain drug free.

"We believe that stopping drugs entering prisons, and therefore releasing people who are drug free is an integral strand to cutting crime, reducing re-offending and making West Yorkshire communities a safer place."

Anyone with information on people involved in supplying drugs into prisons can call Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.