Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

Gangs using DEAD RATS to smuggle mobile phones and drugs into Dorset prison

Prison officials at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset was shocked to find rodents had been sliced-open and then stitched back together in order to hide several banned objects including mobile phones, sim cards and drugs. The disturbing discovery was made by staff during a routine patrol of the perimeter fence at the category C institution. Officers found an astonishing five mobile phones, chargers and three SIM cards that had been sewn into the stomach of the animal.

In addition cigarette papers, and drugs including Spice and cannabis were also located inside the large rat.

It is understood the rats were thrown over the prison fence by organised criminals, who co-ordinated with an offender on the inside who was waiting to collect them, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Had the items not been seized by the Prison, officials say they would have been sold around the jail “leaving chaos and violence in their wake”.

The prison service is working with police to find and prosecute the culprits.

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart has condemned the incident and stated contraband inside jails puts the “public at risk” and vowed to strengthen security.

Mr Stewart said: “This find shows the extraordinary lengths to which criminals will go to smuggle drugs into prison, and underlines why our work to improve security is so important.

“Drugs and mobile phones behind bars put prisoners, prison officers and the public at risk.

“By toughening security and searching, we can ensure prisons are places of rehabilitation that will prevent further re-offending and keep the public safe.”

This is not the first time audacious methods have been used to smuggle goods inside prison with tennis balls and pigeons used in the past.

However the MoJ said the find at HMP Guys Marsh earlier this month was the first recorded instance involving rats.

HMP Guys Marsh, which has a population of 384 as of last month has been the subject of a number of critical watchdog assessments.

Last year the prison’s Independent Monitoring Board reported that prisoners have “easy access” to mobile phones and “make calls at times to suit themselves”.

In the 12 months to March 2018, there were 13,119 incidents where drugs were found in prisons in England and Wales – a rise of 23 percent on the previous year.

Discoveries of mobile phones also increased, going up by 15 percent to 10,643 instances in 2017-18.

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