60 improvised razor weapons seized in Scots jails


PRISON officers last year seized more than 60 weapons improvised using the blades from plastic safety razors.

New figures from the Scottish Prison Service show that 62 of the home-made weapons were confiscated.

The razor is the most common improvised weapon behind bars but staff also seized mop handles, pool cues, and fragments of ceramics.

The data was shared after a Freedom of Information request was submitted to the Scottish Prison Service.

Prisoners made 62  weapons out of razors last year
Prisoners made 62 weapons out of razors last year

It showed that since 2013, the number of weapons seized has declined from 330 to 203 – a decrease of over a third.

Among the weapons confiscated were 47 other “blades”, 34 plastic implements and six made of glass.

Prisoners also made 13 weapons made out of wood and one using a gym weight.

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “It is very difficult to get weapons into prisons so almost all of the weapons will have been improvised from items that inmates have access to.

“We do routine searches when prisoners move from one place to another, and also targeted searches on individuals who we believe to be hiding something.

“We are not complacent about this and we have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our prisoners.

“It’s not something we take lightly and in our opinion, one weapon is one too many.”

In 2011, a female prisoner at Cornton Vale in Stirling crept into another inmate’s cell and slashed her face with a razor.

Angela Hamilton was found guilty of sneaking into child killer Theresa Riggi’s cell and “repeatedly” striking her face with the weapon.

Prison wardens found Riggi screaming, covered in blood with a clump of hair missing from her head. She was permanently scarred by the incident.

In a similar incident, rapist and murderer Peter Tobin was permanently disfigured by a fellow inmate when he attacked him with a razor blade fitted with a handle.

Sean Moynihan last year admitted assaulting Tobin by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with the razor weapon at HMP Edinburgh.

Moynihan explained in an interview that Tobin had been “annoying him for months” and was “refusing to tell anyone where the rest of his victim’s bodies were”.