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Prisoners ordering drugs to their cells in ‘Deliveroo-style’

David Gauke

PRISONERS can get drugs flown straight to their cell windows by drone in a ‘Deliveroo-style’ ordering system, the justice secretary has revealed.

Technology such as tiny mobile phones and the arrival of psychoactive drugs such as Spice have led to ‘sophisticated and brazen smuggling’, David Gauke said.

Crime gangs are exploiting the ‘captive market’ behind bars to cash in on drug money, he said.

The gangs engineer it so that released prisoners deliberately breach their licence conditions and are sent back to jail to smuggle more drugs. They enforce control ‘by using threats and violence towards prisoners and attempting to corrupt prison staff,’ he said.

Other smuggling methods include ‘the paint used in supposed children’s drawings sent to their parents in prison laced with liquid drugs, or the pages of letters purporting to be from a prisoner’s solicitor soaked in drugs’.

Mr Gauke said in a speech in London that he was ‘shocked and sickened’ by videos showing the impact of Spice. In one, two naked prisoners who believed they were dogs barked and fought each other wearing makeshift muzzles and leads. Many attacks on prison staff have been linked to Spice.

In a drive to stop the contraband, technology is being installed at 30 jails that will allow officers to download data from seized mobile phones and act on drone drops.

Mr Gauke said jails should be places of ‘humanity, hope and aspiration’. Well-behaved inmates could be offered Skype calls to relatives and ministers were looking at allowing some to go to work while monitored.