More than 200kg of drugs and 13,000 mobile phones were discovered in UK prisons in the space of a year, it has been revealed.
New figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that a total of 225kg of contraband drugs were recovered across prisons in England and Wales in 2016, as well as the phones and 7,000 mobile phone sim cards.
Acknowledging that the amount of drugs and phones in prisons is "unacceptable", Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah warned that the issues would not be resolved overnight as he highlighted the need for more frontline staff.
The MoJ said the seizure of mobile phones and sim cards helped thwart efforts by inmates to continue plotting further crimes from behind bars.
Officials said a £2 million investment in technology to detect phones and 300 specialist dogs trained to find drugs had helped recover the illegal items.
But Mr Gyimah acknowledged more needed to be done, including the recruitment of extra prison officers.
Mr Gyimah said: "I have been clear that the current levels of violence, drugs and mobile phones in our prisons is unacceptable. We have put in place a number of measures to help disrupt this illegal activity as it is an issue I am absolutely determined to resolve.
"These figures highlight the determination of prison staff to disrupt this behaviour, whilst at the same time sending a clear message that we will push to prosecute anyone who involves themselves in this kind of activity.
"The issues within our prisons will not be resolved overnight, but we must make progress in tackling these problems. Bringing in more frontline staff is an integral part of that."