DURING the CP visit to HMP IW, officers from the Dedicated Search Team (DST) explained the work they do seizing contraband coming into the prison.

On the lookout for drugs, phones, weapons and other illegal items, the officers are a key part of the prison system and are operated nationally, independently from HMP IW.

On the morning of our visit, DST officers found a prisoner under the influence with ‘spice’, a synthetic cannabinoid drug.

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Spice is a growing problem in the prison and is often smuggled in liquid form, soaked into tabs and placed in vapes, which prisoners are allowed.

The synthetic drug is constantly evolving so detection equipment is struggling to keep up.

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Another big problem is mobile phones, such as the one pictured, which is a popular model for prisoners because it is small and can be easily concealed.

Since DST officers are operated independently of any single prison, they are sometimes called out to other prisons around the country to take over and carry out deep searches en masse.