A government plan to crack down on drug use in prisons has been welcomed by Devon and Cornwall PCC Alison Hernandez.

The plan, which would involve introducing airport-style security detectors in all jails across the country, was announced earlier this year by Prisons Minister Rory Stewart. It started with a trial in 10 UK prisons, but no scanners were implemented in the South West.

“The best thing that we can do for people who are serving a prison sentence is to keep them safe and away from drugs and give prison service staff the tools they need to allow them to do this,” Hernandez said.

“At the moment drugs are rife in British prisons, criminality is allowed to flourish inside prison walls with gangs exploiting fundamental weaknesses in security so they can carry out their illegal activity,” she added.

The scanners have also been described as a way of helping recovery from drug addiction.

“On release ex-offenders are going to stand a much better chance of leading fulfilling productive lives if they have experienced rehabilitation and support while in the care of the Prison Service,” Hernandez went on to say.

“I’m really pleased to see a serious effort made to crack down on this pernicious activity,” she added.