Phone line set up to target illegal drug and weapon smuggling into prisons

Phone line set up to target illegal drug and weapon smuggling into prisons

A new confidential phone line has been set up to stop illegal trafficking of drugs and weapons into Irish prisons.

There were more than a 1,000 seizures of drugs in prisons during 2013, and 418 already this year.

The Irish Prison Service says tablets are the most common drugs being seized, having moved away from heroin.

The Chief Officer of the prison service, Ben Buckley, says the new phone line will be highly confidential and calls cannot be traced.

He says the prison drug trade is big business and new prisoners and their families can be targeted to traffic them.

"We're talking about pressure put on the most vulnerable of people. We have parents coming in, we have prisoners entering the system for the first time, they're always seen as a viable and vulnerable victim," said Mr Buckley.

"These people go through horrific ordeals, there are threats of violence against them in the prison, and threats to their loved ones outside. It's a phenomenal issue."


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