Police reveal new tactic for stopping drugs and phones being smuggled into Doncaster prisonÂ

Police will be providing '˜ongoing regular patrols' around the perimeter of a Doncaster prison to help crackdown on phones and drugs being smuggled inside.Â

Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 1:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 1:15 pm
Police said the team were committed to providing ongoing regular patrols around the perimeter in support of the prison service at HMP Lindholme - Credit: SYP Off Road Team

Officers will be deployed on off-road bikes to patrol the perimeter of HMP Lindholme to help support prison staff. 

According to South Yorkshire Police figures, 202 mobile phones were seized after being smuggled into or thrown over the perimeter walls and fences at Doncaster's prisons last year.

Drugs with a prison value of over £100,000 and 43 weapons were also found during raids and joint police and prison operations.

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However, a custodial manager told the BBC in September that policing the three-mile perimeter would be '˜virtually impossible'.

The BBC said that packages containing Spice and mini mobile phones were  thrown over the prison fence '˜every other day'. 

With Doncaster host to four prisons - and between 3,500 and 4,000 inmates locked up at any one time - South Yorkshire Police admit the jails pose a '˜considerable challenge' to the force.

Superintendent Dan Thorpe, responsible for policing Doncaster's prisons, said: 'Doncaster is quite unique, I don't think there is anywhere else where there is such a concentration of prisons in one place.'

Lindholme was recently branded one of the country's top 10 most challenging prisons for its drug use and violence and was allocated a share of a £10 million Government funding pot to tackle issues.

New measures to clamp down on violence and the smuggling of drugs, phones and weapons into prisons were also introduced by the government back in March. 

Supt Thorpe said: 'There are some substantial challenges facing prisons, and it is right that we support them.

'A lot of crime which occurs within the prison is a result of items being thrown over perimeter walls and fences, giving prisoners access to mobile phones and drugs.

'Phones enable prisoners to orchestrate crime from inside.

'This isn't easy when you consider that Lindholme's perimeter fencing is three miles long but we are determined to make a difference.

'Reducing throw overs will reduce crime inside. We are working far more closely with our prison officer colleagues than we ever have before by conducting more joint proactive policing/prison operations and catching people trying to throw or take illegal items into the prison estate.'