The number of suspected drug finds in Perth Prison has progressively fallen in the last four years, with the majority of seizures arising through visitors trying to smuggle substances into the Edinburgh Road site.
Figures released through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that there were 136 suspected discoveries in 2014, falling to 135 in 2015 with just 27 so far this year.
Of the finds this year, five suspected recoveries were found on visitors to the prison, with four unearthed in inmates’ mail.
A total of 108 miscellaneous tablets have been found so far this year, along with 14 grams of class ‘A’ drug heroin. This compares with 326 tablets being discovered last year, 317.1 grams of cannabis and 90.5 grams of heroin.
The statistics, which were provided by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), also show that the general public were largely responsible for the suspected drug recoveries, with 11 people recorded so far this year.
The SPS believe this marked improvement in drug finds is down to “robust measures” which have been installed to crackdown on people trying to smuggle illegal substances into Perth Prison.
These have included search dogs, which have been deployed in the prison’s new visitor area and prison cells.
Perth Prison also invested in new technology and trained staff to detect illegal drugs, including paraphernalia and prisoners and visitors attempting to bring mobile phones into Scottish prisons.
In recent years, the SPS embarked on a policy of using daily intelligence, tactical strategies and assessments, along with targeted searches to combat attempts to bring drugs into the Victorian-era establishment.
The recent figures are significant and show an improvement since 2013 when 119 miscellaneous tablets were found, as well as 32.1 grams of cannabis, 0.8 grams of cocaine and 2.2 grams of heroin.
And it was a similar situation in 2012, when 197.5 tablets were seized along with 22.85 grams of cannabis, 0.7 grams of cocaine and 11.9 grams of heroin.
A spokesperson for the SPS said: “A comprehensive range of robust security measures are in place to prevent the introduction of contraband into our prisons.
“Significant investment continues to be made in the development of new technology and staff training to detect, deter and reduce the availability and supply of illegal drugs.
“Anyone found in possession of contraband is reported to the appropriate authorities.”