Drugs and phones among 2,151 forbidden items thrown into prisons in 2015
Thousands of banned items including drugs and mobile phones were thrown into prisons last year, figures have revealed.
A freedom of information request by the BBC to the Ministry of Justice found that there were 2,151 recorded instances of forbidden items being thrown over prison walls in 2015.
The figure has more than doubled in two years. In 2013, contraband items were thrown over 797 times, according to the request.
Drugs and mobile phones were sometimes concealed in juice cartons, tennis balls and shampoo bottles, the BBC said.
The request also showed that 730 knives or blades were discovered in prisons in England and Wales during the last six months of 2015.
Eleven firearms, of which two were real, were also found in prisons in 2015.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: " We take a zero tolerance approach to contraband in our prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute those involved.
"We have already legislated to make smuggling New Psychoactive Substances into prison illegal and those caught trying to throw packages over prison walls can now face up to two years in jail.
"However we must do more, which is why we are investing £1.3 billion to transform the prison estate, to better support rehabilitation and tackle bullying, violence and drugs."