Drug dealing fears have been fuelled at HMP Grampian after new figures show a 350 per cent rise in the number of illegal mobile phone confiscations at the prison.

Information obtained from the Scottish Prison Service show 63 illicit handsets were taken off prisoners in 2023 compared to just 14 in 2022.

These figures are separate to the Scottish Government-funded phones which the service revealed were all withdrawn from use at HMP Grampian as of July 31 following Covid.

Instead, HMP Grampian was selected to have in-cell landline phones installed, giving inmates 200 free minutes.

The huge jump in illegal mobile phone confiscations at the north-east jail is among the highest increases in Scotland and in total was the fifth largest number for 2023, below Edinburgh, Barlinnie, Addiewell and Low Moss.

And in the last four years since 2020, a total of 104 illegal phones have been confiscated after being smuggled into HMP Grampian.

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