Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

Search

Revealed: What contraband goods have been seized in Suffolk’s prisons?

HMP Highpoint in Stradishall. Picture: MICHAEL HALL

HMP Highpoint in Stradishall. Picture: MICHAEL HALL

Archant

Hundreds of drugs, knives and phones have been confiscated in Suffolk prisons, amid a surge in the amount of contraband being found.

HM Prison Hollesley Bay. Photo: GREGG BROWNHM Prison Hollesley Bay. Photo: GREGG BROWN

At Highpoint Prison in Stradishall, 102 knives were seized last year, up 155%, according to figures obtained by this newspaper from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

A psychoactive drug called Spice, which is a synthetic cannabis substitute, appears to have become the drug of choice amongst inmates with 131 seizures last year at Highpoint, up from 52 in 2015/16.

Officers also found 237 mobile phones and 176 chargers last year, while alcohol was seized 99 times.

At Hollesley Bay Prison, 88 mobile phones and 19 sim cards were found last year - a 60% increase - as well as one knife.

Drugs appear to be less of a problem at Hollesley with five Spice finds last year, three cannabis and two heroin discoveries.

It comes as the MoJ revealed the results of an operation to crack down on contraband behind bars.

The MoJ said it had invested £2million in detection equipment to stop illicit items getting into prisons.

From March last year to September this year officers found 349 phones and discovered spice 170 times at HMP Highpoint.

The MoJ said the recovery of these banned items would help thwart attempts by criminals to continue committing crime behind bars.

Recent riots and an increase in violence in prisons have led to criticism of cuts to guards and the prison service.

And Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA), said: “These finds are just the tip of an iceberg. Our prisons are awash with drugs and illicit items because of Government year-on-year budget cuts.

“The POA believe we need to get back to at least staffing levels pre 2010.”

But the MoJ said it was “strengthening the frontline” with 2,500 additional prison officers by 2018.

Contraband has been brought into prisons through drones, being thrown over walls, by visitors and by new prisoners.

In April this year two men, Remo White-Chandler and Romaine Gayle, were jailed for six and four years respectively for using a drone to get contraband into three prisons, including HMP Highpoint.

What the Government says

Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah revealed on Monday that drugs had been seized 750 times from March last year to September this year in five prisons in Suffolk and Norfolk.

He said: “I am determined to stem the flow of drugs into our prisons and transform establishments into places of safety and reform and we are doing all we can to invest so that our hardworking prison officers have the right tools to do the job.

“These figures highlight the determination of prison staff to disrupt this behaviour, while sending a clear message that we will not tolerate this kind of activity.

“Those who peddle drugs in an attempt to thwart reform should face the full force of the law, which means a police investigation and extra time behind bars.

“I want to pay tribute to the staff at these prisons for their efforts and dedication to preventing contraband from getting into their prisons, which we know has a detrimental impact on stability and progress.”

A military helicopter has been transformed into a unique outdoor classroom for pupils at Hillside Primary School and Nursery in Ipswich.

The former editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star says he was given “a second chance at life” thanks to the life-saving skills of a paramedic and a passer-by who rushed to his aid when he suffered a cardiac arrest.

As the summer holidays start, a new seahorse mini-sculpture trail has been launched in Ipswich - but where can you see the 10 seahorses?

The summer of 2018 could be a record breaker

The jury in the trial of four men accused of killing Trimley father-of-five Dean Stansby is expected to continue its deliberations tomorrow.

A housebuilder is handing over vital funding to two a life-saving charity and a popular annual show.

School inspectors are impressed at the work done to turn around a Ipswich primary school which was rated as “requires improvement”.

Two well known east Suffolk pubs are preparing to do battle as they fight it out for top industry awards.

Stocks at one of Suffolk’s largest foodbanks have plunged to critical levels, an investigation by this newspaper has revealed.

Firefighters tackled a blaze affecting around 300 square metres of gorseland close to a family resort on the edge of Ipswich.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24