Last year, Britain was named the European capital of drug addiction, which gives you some idea of just how big a problem the ‘illegal high’ is in the UK alone. The cost of this problem to the UK, along with alcohol related problems, is in excess of £36 billion!
Prisons are just one of the areas notorious with drug use, and whilst we are not saying that the majority of drugs are dealt in prisons, they certainly make up large percentage of that figure.
To give you an example; inmates at Oakwood prison in Staffordshire have said that drugs are easier to obtain than soap. Whilst inspectors at Brixton prison in London stated that cannabis use was so widespread that officers’ uniforms stank of skunk.
How do drugs get into prisons?
There are a variety of ways that drugs enter the prison system. Some offenders who are released on temporary licenses easily smuggle in drugs, as do some members of staff. Visitors are the main culprit, concealing drugs in a variety of ways such as babies nappies and body orifices. Another method is to have someone toss a packet over the walls into one of the exercise yards. The package usually flies over disguised in a tennis ball or dead pigeon and is located using satellite maps on smartphones. The more brazen send drugs in letters in the hope that their letter isn’t scanned.
How can the drug trade in prison be stopped?
The drugs in prison could be reduced by ensuring visits take place in partitioned rooms, or performing inmate searches on all visitors. Prisoners could also spend more time locked up in their cells and away from exercise yards. However, these options would be costly and some would say inhumane.
A better idea, and one that more and more prisons are turning to across the UK, is the Drug Detection Dog.
The benefits of Drug Detection Dogs in prisons
Here at Summit Security Services we work regularly and successfully with many private prisons who do not have the resources themselves to operate their own dogs permanently to help combat the problem of drugs in prisons. This process works so well because our Drug Detection Dogs can be called in at any time. There is no set up cost to the prison, only the fee per visit, making this possibly the most cost effective method of drug detection.
Traditional methods of detecting drugs on either an individual or an area can take hours whereas the use of dog’s will not only speed up the search process, but will provide an accurate indication as to where the contraband is in a less intrusive manner than searching individuals by hand.