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Prison reaffirms hard line against drug crime 22 July 2008

Deputy Prison Governor Colin Ring outside Victoria Road jailTHE Isle of Man Prison Service will continue to take a hard line against any attempt to smuggle drugs into Victoria Road.

Deputy Prison Governor Colin Ring has stressed that anybody breaking the law will be prosecuted. He made his comments after an inmate was handed a six-year sentence for attempting to recover drugs that had been thrown over the prison wall.

Jonathan Edward Myers was on remand at Victoria Road when he was caught ‘fishing’ from his cell window. Myers had fashioned a homemade line and hook and was trying to snag a package that was later found to contain cocaine and cannabis. He was apprehended by staff during an intelligence-led operation at the prison and subsequently charged with the attempted possession of illegal substances.

Sentencing Myers to six years in prison, Deemster Doyle said he viewed the offence in a more serious light as it had been committed inside the jail. He added that the courts would do everything in their power to protect prison officers from the dangers posed by the use of drugs by inmates.

Mr Ring, who is also Security Manager at the Prison, said he hoped the sentence would act as a deterrent. He said:

‘Any attempt to smuggle controlled substances into the prison environment will simply not be tolerated and will result in criminal charges being brought. Similarly, inmates who are caught trying to recover drugs that have been thrown over the prison wall will be prosecuted. We take a very tough stance against this sort of behaviour and will continue to work hard in a bid to keep drugs out of the prison.’

As well as regular sweeps of the perimeter wall, prison staff can search inmates and cells, while all visitors are checked by sniffer dogs trained to detect illegal substances. Comprehensive security measures will also be in place when prison operations are transferred from Victoria Road to Jurby.

The Island’s new jail will offer greater protection against would-be drug smugglers as it is surrounded by a 5.2 metre high external perimeter wall constructed from cast concrete.

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