Blades, booze and drugs seized by Barlinnie staff

A DANGEROUS haul of weapons was seized from behind bars at a city prison, the Evening Times can today reveal.

Loading Comments
A selection of prison weapons from one search at Barlinnie
A selection of prison weapons from one search at Barlinnie

The number of deadly weapons found in Barlinnie has soared by more than 170% in the last three years.

A terrifying arsenal, including knives, razor blades, homemade weapons has been seized from prisoners.

A contraband haul, including drugs, mobile phones, homemade booze and even urine was also uncovered.

In total, there have been more than 100 weapons confiscated from cells at HM Prison Barlinnie since 2010 -the vast majority of them makeshift knives.

Since last April, 38 weapons have been recovered from prisoners in the East End jail - that's almost one a week.

It was the highest annual figure for three years, up from 32 in 2012/12; 18 in 2011/12; and 14 in 2010/11.

Scottish Labour's justice spokesman Graeme Pearson said the figures raise serious questions about prison security.

He told the Evening Times: "This information can reflect two possible outcomes.

"Either the staff have become more effective in intercepting contraband or there is a greater number of prisoners involved in smuggling.

"Weapons particularly are a concern to the staff."

Our investigation raises fears the amount of contraband smuggled into jail is getting out of control.

A total of 774 items have been confiscated from cells at Barlinnine since April 1, 2009.

Figures reveal the number of drugs seizures in the jail have risen by 176% in the last three years. So far this year, prison staff have intercepted 127 drug-smuggling attempts at the prison.

There has been a sharp increase in incidents since 2010/11, when 46 drugs incidents were reported.

Inmates have also been caught with drug paraphernalia during searches, according to official figures released under freedom of information laws.

Prison bosses said the increase in number of items recovered was down to the "professionalism and diligence" of staff.

Sniffer dogs and intelligence gathering operations are being used to combat the problem of contraband items, according to officials.

Warders confiscated 176 mobile phones and related equipment, along with stashes of home-brewed alcohol, and 136 weapons from cells since April 2009.

Thirty sim cards, 18 batteries and 37 chargers were among the mobile phone equiment seized in the same period.

A host of miscellaneous items, including tobacco, money, DVDs - and even urine - were concealed in cells at Barlinnie before being recovered by prison staff.

Today the Scottish Prison Service vowed to continue the crackdown on contraband smuggled into its jails.

A spokeswoman said: "We recognise the importance of providing a safe and secure environment for our staff and those in our custody.

"Any increase in the number of prohibited items being recovered within our establishments can be attributed to the professionalism and diligence of our staff, advances in technology and the deployment of various methods of detection.

"Anyone found in possession of contraband or attempting to smuggle items into prisons will be reported to the appropriate authorities to face the full force of the law."



Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

I don’t think I’ve uttered the words “no, he’s not a stripper we’ve hired so put him down.




Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

My thoughts after Police Scotland are ordered to apologise over IRA interrogation techniques slur.

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.