Suffolk

HMP Highpoint: Imitation gun found before BB gun and bullet

Highpoint Prison entrance Image copyright Google
Image caption Extra security measures will be taken if Highpoint Prison's recycling workshop reopens

An imitation handgun was found at a Suffolk prison where a BB gun and live bullet were discovered in a bed sheet, an internal report has revealed.

A prisoner found the plastic gun while sorting through clothes and shoes for an inmate-staffed workshop at Highpoint Prison in July.

The BB gun and .303 bullet were found in similar circumstances last month.

The recycling service has been suspended and the BBC understands metal detectors may be used in future.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "A toy gun was discovered in a bag of clothing sent to HMP Highpoint in July.

"It was quickly removed and there was no security alert or disruption to the prison."

About 100 prisoners help sort 20 tonnes of textiles, collected from clothing banks at locations including supermarkets, on a daily basis at the category C jail near Haverhill.

Image copyright Contributed

The BBC has been told that if a decision is taken to reopen the facility, it will only be done if additional CCTV and extra security measures are put in place.

The gun was described as being "completely harmless" by prison sources.

However, a former prison officer said imitation firearms or BB guns could be used in hostage taking or could be mistaken for the real thing.

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