Boris Johnson has been given a bracing reality check on prison life after being told how inmates smuggle contraband into jail.
The Prime Minister grimaced as he was shown a body scan from a prisoner who tried to smuggle a banned substance into jail hidden inside his body.
Johnson was touring HMP Leeds, an inner-city Victorian jail, where staff told him the introduction of a state-of-the-art scanner had led to a reduction in drug smuggling and therefore violence.
The demonstration of the sophisticated X-ray revealed a stored image showing a Kinder egg secreted inside a prisoner’s backside.
“A Kinder egg?” the PM said. “Is that inside the...? He’s ingested it? He’s plugged it?”
After being told the plastic egg contain tobacco, he exclaimed: “You are joking.”
VIDEO: 'A kinder egg? ... He's plugged it? ... You are joking?'— Joe Pike (@joepike) August 13, 2019
On a visit to Leeds Prison, Prime Minister @BorisJohnson learns how prisoners smuggle drugs and phones into prisons. pic.twitter.com/ElwWjSQVdJ
Tobacco has been a contraband item since smoking in jail was banned.
Another stored image on the scanner clearly showed one mobile phone in an inmate’s stomach that he had swallowed, plus another two in his bowel.
Since it was introduced in December, 4,500 scans have been undertaken and around 60 seizures of drugs, tobacco or mobile phones were made.
No details were given about the identity of the inmate, or what offence he had committed.
That wing was for prisoners who have volunteered to take part in a drug treatment programme.
One sign on the wall of the prison stated “HMP Leeds, protecting the public since 1847” and the most recent inspection two years ago stated that the local Category B jail with 667 cells was one of the country’s most overcrowded.
In the 2017 inspection, 60% of prisoners reported that drugs were easy to obtain.
Following the visit, Johnson said the government will spend £100 million on scanners “to protect the staff and to stop the prisoners bringing in, to put it bluntly, in their alimentary systems, drugs and mobile phones, which greatly degrade the life in prisons”.