Picture HMP Exeter / Lewis Clarke
Earlier this year prisons minister, Rory Stewart announced plans to trial airport-style security scanners at 10 UK prisons. However, none of the three prisons in Devon were included in this pilot.
Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has renewed her calls for more thorough searches and body scanners to be introduced at HMPs Exeter, Channings Wood and Dartmoor, so inmates had the best chance of getting clean and staying safe while they served jail sentences.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the minister said he wanted to roll out scanners to all prisons in England and Wales.
Welcoming the news Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said she was increasingly concerned about drug use in prisons, particularly at HMP Exeter, where a report last year said staff were struggling to cope with the problem.
“This is fantastic news. I’d like to see these scanners introduced in Devon’s prisons as soon as possible,” she said.
“The best thing that we can do for people who are serving a prison sentence is to keep them safe and away from drugs and give Prison Service staff the tools they need to allow them to do this.
“At the moment drugs are rife in British prisons, criminality is allowed to flourish inside prison walls and gangs exploiting fundamental weaknesses in security so they can carry out their illegal activity.
“On release ex-offenders are going to stand a much better chance of leading fulfilling and productive lives if they have experienced rehabilitation and support while in the care of the Prison Service, and I’m really pleased to see a serious effort made to crack down on this pernicious activity.”