Over 100 illegal items have been detected in HMP Wandsworth prison thanks to special body scanners.

Within months of being installed X-ray scanners have found banned items such as drugs, weapons and mobile phones.

The advanced technology is part of the Government’s £100 million package to tackle violence and boost security.

HMPs Brixton, Pentonville and Wandsworth in London, are among the 28 prisons trialling the scanners which are developed specifically for the Prison Service.

Staff can see instantly whether prisoners are smuggling in illegal contraband items internally.

This Is Local London: HMP Pentonville scannerHMP Pentonville scanner

So far, the new technology has prevented over 179 illegal items entering London prisons four months after being installed.

Illegal items might have landed in the prison wings, fuelling an illicit economy and potential violence.

Prisons and Probation Minister, Lucy Frazer QC MP said:

“Stopping the flow of illegal items into jails is a huge priority for us.

“The scanners form part of our wider plan to step up security in prisons to cut crime and better protect the public.”

This Is Local London: Phones and tobaco found in X-ray at HMP Wandsworth Phones and tobaco found in X-ray at HMP Wandsworth

HMP Brixton’s Governor, Louise Ysart, added:

“This X-ray body scanner is a game changer and we’re confident it will make the prison safer and reduce the availability of contraband.”

A further 24 scanners are due to be installed in prisons by March 2021.

The equipment is being funded by the Government’s £2.75 billion commitment to transform the prison estate.

This also involves funding for extra prison places and essential maintenance.