Prisons across Yorkshire have seen huge increases in banned items including drugs and phones being thrown over the walls, according to Government figures.

A total of 2,151 items of contraband were thrown into jails across England and Wales last year, a huge rise on the 797 items hurled over during 2013.

Jails across Yorkshire saw an increase in the problem, according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice in response to a Freedom of Information request.

In some cases, flying drones have been used to deliver contraband over the walls.

Contraband thrown into Yorkshire prisons

Doncaster

Contraband incidents at Doncaster Prison

60

2013

111

2014

153

2015

Ministry of Justice

Leeds

Contraband incidents at Leeds Prison

13

2013

8

2014

24

2015

Ministry of Justice

Wealstun

Contraband incidents at Wealstun Prison

8

2013

33

2014

42

2015

Ministry of Justice

Hull

Contraband incidents at Hull Prison

4

2013

8

2014

17

2015

Ministry of Justice

Humber

Contraband incidents at Humber Prison

0

2013

14

2014

37

2015

Ministry of Justice

Lindholme, Doncaster

Contraband incidents at Lindholme Prison

13

2013

7

2014

20

2015

Ministry of Justice

Moorland, near Doncaster

Contraband incidents at Moorland Prison, Doncaster

0

2013

11

2014

23

2015

Ministry of Justice

There were no incidents recorded at either New Hall prison at Flockton, nor Wakefield's high security prison.

The figures were released to the BBC which also revealed that 730 knives and blades were found in prisons in the last six months of 2015.

A total of 11 firearms were found in 2015, up from just one each in both 2013 and 2014, and nine in 2012.

730 knives and blades were found in prisons in the last six months of 2015

The 11 included four replica firearms, three toys, two homemade devices and two real firearms.

John Attard of the Prison Governors' Association told the BBC: "It's not a fluke - people plan, they know the best parts of a wall to throw things over.

"There are all sorts of methods to get things over a prison wall. We've had people putting drugs in dead birds and sending them over with tennis racquets.

"We're talking about thousands of pounds worth of contraband but the criminals that are throwing them over are prepared to lose (part of) that to get some through."

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform
Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform

Frances Crook, chief executive at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "Drugs and violence are a symptom of a prison system in crisis that is failing staff, inmates and the public.

“The temptation to increase already draconian punishments inside prisons will only exacerbate the problem. Sort out prisons, sort out the drug problem.”

The Ministry of Justice admitted that it needed to do more to crack down on contraband getting into prisons.

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A Prison Service spokesman said: "We take a zero tolerance approach to contraband in our prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute those involved.

"We have already legislated to make smuggling New Psychoactive Substances into prison illegal and those caught trying to throw packages over prison walls can now face up to two years in jail.

"However we must do more, which is why we are investing £1.3 billion to transform the prison estate, to better support rehabilitation and tackle bullying, violence and drugs."