Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

Prison safety and security announcement

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 06 October 2017 12:07

As an MP who has a prison within my constituency, I am particularly pleased to share the announcement made at conference this year that the Government will be taking steps to improve prison safety and security.


To help improve the safety of our prisons and give prisoners the best chance to turn their lives around, the Government will introduce new body scanners and anti-drone operations to stop contraband entering prisons.


That is why it is investing in modern technology, giving prison officers access to body-worn cameras and state-of-the art drones and piloting body scanners to crack down on criminals bringing contraband into prisons.


The Government is launching new anti-drone operations to disrupt drones as they enter prison airspace and prevent the supply of lethal drugs. These intelligence-led operations will use the information from recovered drones to track down the criminals involved. Meaning that more drugs will be off our streets and more criminals face the penalties of the law.


Crucially, it will also boost spending in youth custody by an extra £64 million over the next four years. This will allow us to increase the workforce in public sector young offender institutions by 20% and introduce a new specialised front-line role with the skills to work intensively with challenging young offenders.


These measures form part of a wider plan to deliver calm and ordered prison environments to transform our prisons into places of genuine reform and rehabilitation.


Already, the Government is investing £100m a year to recruit 2,500 additional prison officers by December 2018 to help make prisons safe and secure and equipped to tackle drugs, violence and self-harm. From January 2017 there has been a net increase of 868 new prison officers, with the current rate of recruitment at its highest level in a decade.


I have also been in close contact with the Governor of HMP Norwich to ensure she has the appropriate resources available to operate a safe and secure prison that can function to rehabilitate offenders.