Four men have been charged for attempting to smuggle drug-filled packages into a Hawke's Bay prison.

The men, who were arrested last night, were found on the outer perimeters of the Hawke's Bay Regional Prison.

Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard said a corrections officer patrolling the outer perimeters spotted the four in a vehicle "extremely close to the fence line" of the prison.

"Two of the men were quickly apprehended with the other two making a dash for freedom," he said.


He said the two who tried to escape were also quickly caught and found with a couple of packages containing "tobacco, cannabis, methamphetamine and nicotine patches".

Acting prison director Nephi Hall said the contraband goods could compromise the safety of staff, visitors and prisoners.

He added it also put at risk prisoners abilities to engage in rehabilitation programmes, education and employment opportunities.

Hall applauded yesterday evening's arrests and said anyone who tried something similar should expect to be arrested.

People found guilty of introducing contraband goods into prison are liable to a prison term of up to three months or a fine of up to $2,000.