Prisons: Alcoholic Drinks:Written question - 17683

Q
Asked by David Simpson
(Upper Bann)
Asked on: 25 November 2015
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Alcoholic Drinks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners have been found (a) in possession and (b) under the influence of alcohol in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Andrew Selous
Answered on: 03 December 2015

We take a zero tolerance approach to drugs in prison. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has in place a comprehensive range of security measures and searching techniques to detect items of contraband including drugs and alcohol, to prevent smuggling into prisons. We use specially trained dogs to detect illicit alcohol and drugs. We are also piloting the use of body scanners to reveal drugs concealed within the body. There has been an increase in the number of drug finds over the past five years, which is likely to have been partly caused by improved and increased reporting.


NOMS does not record centrally the number of prisoners found under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.


The table below gives the number of prisoners found in possession of alcoholin prisons in England and Wales in the timeframe requested.


Number of alcohol1 related finds incidents, England and Wales, 2010 to October 20152

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015 to October(2)

Number of incidents

387

574

805

875

1,091

1,045

(1) Changes were introduced to the Incident Report System in September 2015 that improved the recording of alcohol finds. Prior to these changes, figures were produced by searching for the words "alcohol", "hooch" and "fermenting liquid" in the incident text.

(2) Data for 2015 up to 31st October only


The table below gives the number of prisoners found in possession of drugs in prisons in England and Wales in the timeframe requested:


Incidents where drugs were found in prisoner's possession1, England and Wales, 2010 to October 20152, by region








Region

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015 to October (2)

East Midlands

161

224

247

219

249

212

East of England

60

45

119

108

185

167

Greater London

66

68

83

140

216

201

Kent and Sussex

102

96

72

77

216

156

North East

163

188

233

110

132

98

North West

345

240

310

352

560

629

South Central

31

31

31

35

31

70

South West

101

122

134

87

122

116

Wales

47

34

42

57

59

88

West Midlands

64

92

160

190

284

275

Yorkshire and Humberside

102

76

134

181

235

242

Escort areas

6

1

0

0

0

1

Total

1,248

1,217

1,565

1,556

2,289

2,255








(1) Where drugs were found in a cell search, strip search and other search (inmate).


(2) Data for 2015 up to 31st October only.












Changes were introduced to the Incident Report System in October 2015 that improved the recording of drug finds. Prior to these changes, figures were produced by searching 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.


NOMS does not record centrally the number of prisoners who are found under the influence of drugs and could not do so without incurring disproportionate cost by conducting a survey of every prison establishment.

Grouped Questions: 17639

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