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Written Question
Heroin: Smuggling
25 Nov 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to tackle the importation of contaminated heroin.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

Drugs devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities. The Government is committed to driving down drugs supply in the UK through tough law enforcement, which is reflected in increases in drug seizures in recent years. Each seizure is stopping illegal drugs reaching our streets which bring misery to our communities. We support partnership working between the National Crime Agency, Border Force, and local policing, using intelligence and technology to keep our borders safe and secure, prevent drug trafficking and bring those responsible to justice.

In the event that contamination in supply raises the risk that drugs present, the National Crime Agency, police and The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - formally Public Health England - work together, monitoring the situation to understand the factors involved and deliver a rapid response to reduce harm and help prevent drug related deaths.

In August 2021, Public Health England issued an alert to all public health and drug services, following a number of deaths linked to possible heroin contamination. The NCA worked closely with the National Police Chief’s Council, Public Health England and others, to share intelligence, assess the situation and take decisive steps to prevent further loss of life.


Written Question
Prisons: Drugs
10 Feb 2016

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many incidents there have been of usage of illegal highs in prisons in each of the last five years.

Answered by Andrew Selous

We do not tolerate drugs in prison. Prisoners are tested for a range of controlled drugs through our mandatory drug testing (MDT) system, which randomly tests up to 10% of the population in each prison, each month. In addition, prisoners can be subject to testing in response to specific threats. Any prisoner found through MDT to have used controlled drugs will face an internal adjudication and could receive a range of sanctions including days added to their time in custody.

We have begun a pilot to expand this testing to include new psychoactive substances and in April we plan to introduce this across the prison estate. We have also introduced new legislation to counter the smuggling of NPS into prisons and are training 300 sniffer dogs to detect NPS.

The table below shows the number of positive MDT tests for illegal drugs over the past five financial years.

Year

Number of positive MDT tests

2010/11

10324

2011/12

10268

2012/13

9956

2013/14

8659

2014/15

6742

Notes:

  • Table shows instances where a prisoner has tested positive for a controlled drug, one of amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, opiates, methadone and buprenorphine.

  • Where a prisoner is found to have used more than one substance, a separate positive will be reported for each substance found to have been used.

  • Includes MDT tests arising from all prison MDT programmes including random, suspicion, at risk, frequent and reception testing


Written Question
Prisons: Visits
8 Feb 2016

Questioner: Andy Slaughter (LAB - Hammersmith)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) drugs of each type and (b) other items were confiscated from visitors to each prison in each year since 2010.

Answered by Andrew Selous

We have a range of security measures and searching techniques to prevent smuggling into prisons and to detect items of contraband including drugs. We have legislated to make smuggling New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) into prison illegal, use specially trained dogs to detect illicit drugs and will evaluate the use of Body Scanners to reveal drugs concealed within the body.

We refer all visitors to prisons found in possession of drugs to the police. We also use closed visits, where the prisoner and visitor are prevented from physical contact, to deal with visitors and prisoners who smuggle or are suspected of conveying drugs through visits.

The table below shows the number and type of drugs confiscated from visitors in each prison for the period 01 October 2015 to 31 December 2015. Prior to 01 October 2015 the Incident Reporting System (IRS) did not specifically record who possessed the drugs found.

Number of incidents where drugs were found in visitor's possession, October to December 2015, by establishment and drug type

Establishment

Drug type

Number of incidents12

Aylesbury

Cannabis

3

Birmingham

NPS: Black Mamba

1

Brinsford

Cannabis

1

Unknown

1

Bristol

Other

1

Bullingdon

NPS: Spice

1

Cardiff

Amphetamines

1

Buprenorphine/Subutex

1

Heroin

1

NPS: Spice

1

Other

1

Unknown

1

Channings Wood

Heroin

1

Chelmsford

Cannabis

2

NPS: Spice

2

Coldingley

Unknown

1

Doncaster

Amphetamines

1

NPS: Other

1

Other

2

Unknown

3

Dovegate

Other

1

Unknown

1

Elmley

Cocaine

1

Featherstone

Unknown

1

Feltham

NPS: Other

1

NPS: Spice

1

Forest Bank

NPS: Black Mamba

1

Unknown

1

Guys Marsh

Unknown

1

Haverigg

Unknown

3

High Down

Unknown

1

Highpoint

NPS: Other

1

NPS: Spice

2

Hewell

Cannabis

3

NPS: Other

1

NPS: Spice

2

Other

1

Steroids

1

Holme House

NPS: Spice

1

Humber

Amphetamines

1

Lancaster Farms

Unknown

1

Leeds

Amphetamines

1

Cocaine

1

NPS: Other

1

Lindholme

Cannabis

1

NPS: Spice

1

Unknown

1

Lowdham Grange

Cannabis Plant

1

Manchester

Cannabis

1

NPS: Spice

1

Moorland

NPS: Spice

3

Other

1

Unknown

1

Morton Hall

NPS: Spice

1

New Hall

Unknown

1

Northumberland

Unknown

2

Norwich

Heroin

1

Oakwood

Heroin

1

Other

1

Unknown

1

Onley

NPS: Spice

1

Steroids

1

Unknown

1

Parc

Unknown

1

Peterborough Male

Other

1

Peterborough Female

Crack

1

Heroin

1

Ranby

NPS: Other

1

Risley

Cannabis

1

NPS: Spice

2

Unknown

2

Rochester

Cannabis

1

Crack

1

Unknown

2

Stoke Heath

NPS: Other

1

The Mount

Cannabis

1

Heroin

1

NPS: Other

1

NPS: Spice

2

Verne

NPS: Other

1

Wayland

NPS: Spice

2

Wymott

NPS: Other

1

(1) Number of incidents where each drug type were found.

(2) Where establishment is not listed, no confiscations were reported in the period

Data Sources and Quality
These figures have been drawn from the NOMS Incident Reporting System. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.