§ Sir Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence he has of drug traffickers smuggling cocaine and heroin through the customs and into prisons by carrying them in plastic charges secreted in their body orifices; and if he has any plans to strengthen the powers available to the police to require body searches in such cases.538W
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
Attempts are made from time to time by prisoners returning from home leave or by domestic visitors, to smuggle drugs into prison establishments by means of concealing them within their body orifices. The prison rules enable a prisoner to be given an intimate search if there is reason to suspect that he may be concealing drugs. If a visitor is suspected of attempting to smuggle drugs into a prison establishment it is normal practice for the prison authorities to ask the police to investigate the matter. The powers in section 55 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 for the police to require body searches were recently considered by Parliament and we have no plans to change them.
Questions about the evidence and manner of drug smuggling through the customs are for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.