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Operation to stop prohibited items entering prison

Dorset Police joined forces with Her Majesty’s Prison Service to carry out a targeted day of action to intercept controlled drugs and mobile phones entering HM Young Offenders Institute Portland Prison.

On Tuesday 12 August 2014, officers from Dorset Police and HM Prison Service carried out a joint operation at HM Young Offenders Institute Portland Prison to stop prohibited items entering the prison.

The intelligence-led operation involved police and prison officers searching visitors of serving HM Young Offenders Institute Portland Prison prisoners to detect prohibited items and to arrest and prosecute offenders.

During the operation, 58 prison visitors were searched, which initiated a number of closed visits preventing the passing of contraband.

Officers also searched incoming vehicles. One vehicle was seized and three fixed penalty notices were issued for Road Traffic offences.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector John Foster, of Dorset Police’s Intelligence Department, said: “The problem of drugs and mobile phones entering the prison through prisoner visits has a destabilising effect on the good order and discipline within the prison.

“It creates a lucrative market inside the prison allowing criminality to flourish and the continuation of links to organised crime in the outside world. It also fuels addiction and makes it extremely difficult to prevent reoffending upon release.

“This proactive operation sends a very clear message to prisoners, their visitors and the public that Dorset Police and HM Prison Service will deal robustly with the criminal offences of bringing drugs, phones and other contraband into the prison.”

Governor Matthew Shepherd, Head of Security and Operations at HM Young Offenders Institute Portland Prison, said the operation would improve both safety and stability within the prison.

Governor Shepherd continued: “The disruption of drug supplies into prison establishments must remain a high priority to encourage and promote a drug free lifestyle both in prison and upon release to reduce reoffending.”

Issued: 14 August 2014