Prisons: Alcoholic Drinks:Written question - 21315

Q
(Pendle)
Asked on: 06 January 2016
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Alcoholic Drinks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much illicitly-brewed alcohol was seized in prisons in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Andrew Selous
Answered on: 14 January 2016

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has in place a comprehensive range of security measures and searching techniques to detect items of contraband including alcohol, to prevent smuggling into prisons. In addition we use specially trained dogs to detect illicit alcohol.


The table below gives the number of alcohol finds in prisons in England and Wales in the timeframe requested

Table 1: Finds of alcohol in prisons in England and Wales, 2005 to 2014

Year

Number of Incidents

2005

172

2006

306

2007

330

2008

340

2009

468

2010

386

2011

573

2012

803

2013

875

2014

1090

(1) Figures were produced by searching for the words “alcohol”, “hooch” and “fermenting liquid”.

(2) Includes NOMS operated Immigration Removal Centres

(3) Data in whole years only and is not yet available for 2015


Changes were introduced to the Incident Report System in September 2015 that improved the recording of alcohol finds. Prior to these changes, alcohol related finds are recorded as a "miscellaneous" incident and requires a text search of the data. This method of extracting data requires searching for specific words and may not always identify all the related incidents. It can also identify non-related incidents which contain the words in the search. In this case I have searched for the words "alcohol", "hooch" and "fermenting liquid" in the incident text.

All figures in this answer have been drawn from live administrative data systems which may be amended at any time.Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The data are not subject to audit.

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