18 Oct 2012
The number of drugs found in Scottish prisons is on the increase, with almost five discoveries a day.
So far this year officers have found illegal substances on 1,332 occasions, meaning if trends continue at least 1,762 will be reached by the end of the year.
That would be a significant increase on last year, and almost double the rates of a decade ago.
The statistics were released following a Parliamentary Question by Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont.
The increase is in spite of supposed commitment by the SNP to reduce the rate of drugs getting into prisons, and Scottish Government boasts that crime levels in Scotland are at a 30-year low.
Addiewell Prison in West Lothian, which only opened four years ago, is by far the worst offender, with 339 finds up to the end of September.
The Scottish Government said it was unable to break-down the figures by type of drug found.
Scottish Conservative Chief Whip John Lamont said:
“The public will be absolutely mystified by just how so many drugs can get into what is supposed to be a highly secure setting.
“You could understand a few slipping through the net, but for five finds a day to be occurring is beyond ridiculous – and those are the ones that are discovered.
“With high levels of addiction in jails it is clear that many hard drugs finding their way into prisons are not being found, which is even more concerning.
“This is something that has to be eradicated straight away, otherwise inmates have absolutely no chance of rehabilitation.
“If our jails can’t be trusted to keep drugs from coming in, how can we depend on them to carry out all the other functions required to keep our streets safe.
“The SNP is notoriously soft on justice, and failure to crack down on this is another example.
“Something is going badly wrong in Addiewell looking at the soaring numbers there, and I urge the Justice Secretary to get on top of this as a matter of urgency.”