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Fresh meat and fish are among the contraband items being brought into a prison in Cheshire – along with the more usual mobile phones and sim cards.

Inmates at HMP Thorn Cross, near Warrington, have had liver, vegetables and rib-eye steaks delivered, according to the prison’s independent monitoring board.

A report into the Category D prison said contraband continued to be “problematic”.

“In the reporting year there have been incidences of mobile phones, sim cards, phone chargers, NPS (new psychoactive substances) and other substances and even fresh meat and fish,” it said.

“Items found through searches and cell searches are high value currency items and it is important that prevention on entering the establishment is paramount and use and uptake of the contraband is impossible.”

John Schofield, chairman of the board, told The Times: “It is food in pre-packed containers from supermarkets. Last week there was a holdall of meat, liver and vodka.”

The report added there was an increasing use of cannabis at the jail, but that the increased availability of NPS in the country had not been reflected in the prison population.

Read the full report here