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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Drug seizures up at northern jail
The amount of illegal drugs seized from inmates at a South Cumbrian prison has increased dramatically, figures reveal.

In 2001, hauls worth more than 700 were recovered at Haverigg Prison after an inspection report highlighted drug abuse problems among inmates.

But the following year this leapt to 20,000, totalling more than 50,000 worth of drugs in the last three years.

But prison officials blame the rise on stepped up searches at the jail and say drug abuse is falling among inmates.

'Sense of smell'

Since the Board of Visitors' report four years ago, the number of random drug tests at Haverigg has increased and the use of sniffer dogs is more widespread.

Andy Ross, dog handler at the prison, said daily searches of prisoners, visitors and cars regularly uncover hauls of heroin and cocaine.

He said: "We have a captive market and if a dealer targets a prison there are always inmates willing to buy his product.

"But by finding a lot of drugs we are preventing them getting around prison - we are using highly trained dogs with a tremendous sense of smell to tackle the problem."




SEE ALSO:
Jail praised for systems shake-up
01 Jun 05 |  South East Wales
'Drugs queue' jail guard resigns
21 May 05 |  Scotland


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