Page last updated at 00:31 GMT, Sunday, 22 March 2009

Scottish jails 'awash' with drugs

Dumfries Prison
The Conservatives would like to see drug-free wings established in jails

Drugs are seized in Scottish jails almost five times a day on average, according to official figures.

There were 2,122 cases of drugs being discovered in prisons from January 2008 to March 2009.

Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie said the problem had doubled in five years, with jails now "awash" with drugs.

The Scottish Government said it had a "zero tolerance" attitude to drug use and was working to limit supply.

The figures were released in response to a parliamentary question from Miss Goldie.

We should be helping prisoners get off drugs, rather than providing an environment for drugs to flourish
Annabel Goldie
Scottish Conservative leader

She said: "It is nothing short of incredible that the number of drug finds in our prisons has more than doubled in less than five years.

"In 2003 there was an average of 2.3 drug finds per day. For the past few years that figure has more than doubled.

"It is unacceptable and it appears that Scotland's prisons are now awash with drugs."

The Conservatives have called for every prison to have a drug-free wing where inmates can go to when they want to come off drugs.

"We should be helping prisoners get off drugs, rather than providing an environment for drugs to flourish," Miss Goldie said.

She also demanded tough action against those caught supplying drugs to prisoners.

Glass screens

"We would also consider prison visits taking place behind glass screens to ensure that there is no contact between prisoners and their visitors and therefore deny them the opportunity of passing over drugs," she said.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it had already introduced measures to curb the use of mobile phones in jail, which would have an impact on drug smuggling.

He said: "We and the Scottish Prison Service are committed to zero tolerance of drug use and trafficking in prisons.

"Significant investment has already been made in the development of new technology to detect and deter the introduction of illegal drugs and other commodities in prison."

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Jail drug use 'continues to fall'
05 Dec 08 |  Scotland
Sharp rise in prison drug finds
30 May 08 |  South of Scotland
Government unveils drug strategy
29 May 08 |  Scotland
Prisoner complaint numbers fall
28 Aug 07 |  South of Scotland
Prison complaints reach new high
02 Aug 06 |  South of Scotland
Prison tackles string of concerns
12 Jul 06 |  South of Scotland
Prison 'fails to move with times'
02 Jun 05 |  Scotland

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific