City inmates caught with most mobiles and weapons

Prisoners at HMP Edinburgh were caught in possession of more phones, weapons and drugs than inmates at any other jail across Scotland. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Prisoners at HMP Edinburgh were caught in possession of more phones, weapons and drugs than inmates at any other jail across Scotland. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Prisoners at HMP Edinburgh were caught in possession of more weapons and mobile phones than in any other jail in Scotland.

Since 2011, 169 weapons – mainly home-made – were seized by authorities at the Saughton jail.

During the same period, a staggering 272 smuggled mobile phones were also taken off prisoners.

Large quantities of heroin, cannabis, cocaine and pills were also seized.

The figures are revealed in a Freedom of Information request submitted to the Scottish Prison Service.

They show since 2011 at HMP Edinburgh 363 grams of heroin were found, along with 145 grams of cocaine, 1490.2 grams of cannabis and 45 grams of amphetamines.

Among the weapons seized were home-made knives and Stanley blades.

The figures will be embarrassing to prison bosses, who previously announced a major crackdown on smuggling.

In Scotland as a whole, more than 67,000 pills, 11kgs of cannabis and 2.4kgs of heroin were confiscated in the past three years alone.

Over 1194 grams of drugs including heroin, cocaine and cannabis were discovered at Addiewell prison along with 8776 pills. Guards also found 21.5 litres of alcohol, 139 mobile phones and 133 weapons at the West Lothian jail.

Nationally more than 1000 weapons and 1400 mobile phones have also been seized since 2011.

The amount of banned and illegal items confiscated since 2011 was described by the Scottish Tories as a “huge problem”.

Scottish Conservative justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said: “It is impossible to stop absolutely everything getting into jails.

“But the sheer scale of these discoveries shows we have a huge problem.

“Perhaps visiting arrangements in certain situations have to be looked at, and getting tougher on those who risk smuggling drugs and weapons inside would also serve as a deterrent.

“The high number of finds shows exactly why we need more sniffer dogs in prisons to ensure when an item does arrive illegally, it can be rooted as quickly as possible.”

Earlier this year drug dealers Wayne Ernest Johnston and David Dunbar were jailed after £16,500 or heroin and £1000 of cocaine was smuggled into Edinburgh prison in the spine of books.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said the serviice had invested heavily in resources to tackle addiction and violence issues and said that the seizures reflected on the professionalism of prison staff.