Prison drug seizures increasing

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A rise in drug seizures in prisons in England and Wales shows robust security measures are working, the Ministry of Justice has said.

There were nearly 4,500 seizures in 2013/14 compared with a little under 3,800 in 2010/11, according to figures given in response to a parliamentary question.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “It is simply illogical to say that our drugs strategy is failing because of the number of seizures. What this in fact shows is that our robust security measures, which include the use of intelligence-led searches and specially trained drugs dogs, are working.

“Our random drug tests show that the numbers testing positive have fallen dramatically over the past 15 years. While this is good progress, we remain just as focused as we always have been on cracking down on drugs in prison.”

Prisons minister Andrew Selous said: “The National Offender Management Service takes the issue of all contraband in prisons extremely seriously and deploys a comprehensive range of robust searching and security measures to detect items of contraband both at the point of entry to the prison and concealed within the prison.

“We do not tolerate drugs in prison and anyone caught with them will be punished and could face further prosecution.”