‘Prisons not at all times utilizing scanners’ regardless of fears of fentanyl-laced spice epidemic | UK | News | EUROtoday

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THE Ministry of Justice fears an epidemic of spice laced with doubtlessly lethal artificial opioids, together with fentanyl, may get into jails, the boss of the jail officers’ union has warned.

POA Chairman Mark Fairhurst mentioned officers have been being requested to hold and administer an injectable antidote referred to as Naloxone, as a consequence of fears over a surge in overdoses, regardless of not being medically skilled.

He mentioned: “The latest idea from your employer is Naloxone, a prescription drug, which is administered to those that overdose on opioids.

“Our employer can also be about to problem us with an annex forcing us to hold and administer Naloxone. The final time I regarded I used to be a jail officer, not a nurse.

“I remember the day I was told I can’t give a prisoner a paracetamol out of our own supply if they have got a headache and that you can’t give a plaster to a cut finger in case of an allergic reaction, but all of a sudden I can now administer a prescription drug.”

He added: “And our employer is worried sick about another influx of spice that is contaminated with nitazenes and even worse fentanyl.”

He additionally mentioned most medication have been thrown over jail partitions or delivered by drone, however the MOJ refused to permit drone blocking gear, for worry of 1 falling onto a prisoner.

Most prisons beneath class A additionally not have everlasting devoted canine models that might sniff out medication earlier than prisoners acquired to them, he added.

He mentioned: “Well here’s an idea. Why don’t we stop it at source? Why not use all that sexy new security at the gates all the time day and night, whenever anyone comes in and whenever anyone leaves.

“Let’s get it in operation on a regular basis. Why do not we use expertise to cease drones and why do not we convey again canine sections, so when medication are thrown over the wall, the four-legged shark will get there earlier than the 2 legged legal?”

An MOJ spokesman said: “In prisons with enhanced gate entry expertise, it’s for every web site to find out the very best use of assets and timings of searches.

“Most prisons in England and Wales have a dedicated dog handler resource, supplemented by regional and national resources when needed.

“We proceed to work with legal justice colleagues to seek out and prosecute those that search to make use of drones for legal functions in our prisons. We are additionally utilizing expertise to discourage their use and proceed to develop plans for additional work on this space.

“At present we are training prison staff on a voluntary basis to administer nasal naloxone in emergency situations. Since the introduction of nasal naloxone in prison settings from early 2024, HMPPS has been working with NHS colleagues and Substance Misuse Service (SMS) providers to widen access to training and ensure all prisons have trained staff within their workforce. Naloxone is also available to health professionals.”