Heroin, crack cocaine, legal highs and mobile phones seized in South Yorkshire prison

Linholme Prison
Linholme Prison

More than a kilo of drugs and dozens of mobile phones were seized in a Doncaster prison in a month, according to a new report.

The seizures are detailed in a report on HMP Lindholme by the prisons watchdog.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons inspectors visited the category C prison near Doncaster, which holds just over 1,000 adult male inmates, and said they were told ‘horrific’ stories concerning the possible effects of new psychoactive substances, formerly known as legal highs, including one inmate who had blinded himself.

They said operations to crackdown on banned items had also led to the seizure of heroin, crack cocaine and mobile phone SIM cards.

Their report says: “These operations had led to the capture of large hauls of contraband, which in a single month had included over a kilo of NPS, 67 mobile phones, 145 Sim cards, steroid vials and tablets, and injecting equipment, as well as finds of heroin, cocaine and other drugs.”

Inspectors said the influx of drugs was ‘destabilising’ the prison, with nearly two-thirds of prisoners telling them it was easy to obtain illegal drugs.

Their report says: “The stories we were told, concerning the possible effects that new psychoactive substances was having on individuals, including one young man who had literally blinded himself, were nothing short of horrific.”

Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, said: “This is a mixed report. That said, it was clear that the prison was led by a focused and committed governor and management team, aided by a much better approach now being adopted by staff. “Lindholme was a recovering prison and we were confident that improvement could continue.

“The priorities were clear to us - a robust strategy to stop new psychoactive substances and, linked to that, to reduce violence; significant improvements in offender management and proper arrangements to provide resettlement services.”

Michael Spurr, chief executive of the National Offender Management Service, said: “Lindholme provides a purposeful regime for prisoners with a focus on rehabilitation, which is commendable.

“Their efforts have been undermined by the illegal supply of new psychoactive substances and the violence it encourages.

“The governor is working hard with police colleagues to tackle this threat - and to generally improve safety.

“I share the Chief Inspector’s confidence that, despite the difficult challenges it faces, Lindholme is an improving prison moving firmly in the right direction.”