Dozens of jail workers arrested for supplying medicine to criminals in jail | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Nearly 161 jail workers have been arrested since 2020 on suspicion of supplying medicine in jails, the Express can reveal.

Forty seven arrests had been made for supplying medicine in prisons in 2023, in comparison with 37 the earlier 12 months and 43 in 2021 and 34 in 2020.

But there was a 162% enhance in jail officers being investigated for drug smuggling up to now 4 years.

The quantity has risen to 435 in 2023 from 268 in 2020, figures obtained by Labour present.

Meanwhile 720 jail workers had been investigated final 12 months, an increase from 448 4 years in the past – a rise of 160%.

Mick Pimblett, assistant normal secretary of the Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, stated: “The vast majority of Prison staff are hardworking, conscientious and honest.

“However, this Union acknowledges that there are a small number of corrupt staff working in our Prisons who undermine others’ work by being corrupt.

“Their corruption compromises their colleagues, the security of the establishment and themselves and makes them susceptible to blackmail and criminal activity.

“There may be reasons for the increase in corrupt staff such as poor recruitment and lack of training, but at the end of day these staff must recognise what is right and what is wrong. It is very difficult to have any sympathy for them.

“It is right and correct that these corrupt staff who put themselves into such situations are weeded out and placed before the courts and it is right that dismissal from employment should be the default position for someone found to be corrupt.”

Former jail officer Heather McKenzie, who was caught smuggling Class A medication right into a high safety jail, was jailed for six years and three months final 12 months.

She secretly ferried cocaine and cellphones into Shotts Prison in Lanarkshire.

But her illicit scheme was uncovered when police and jail providers turned suspicious in regards to the rising variety of medicine present in cells.

Prison officer Peter Hughes was caught on CCTV taking a “bulging holdall” full of medicine into cells at HMP Liverpool.

He was seen carrying the bag simply earlier than his shift started on 25 April 2020 and leaving 20 seconds after with an empty bag.

Hughes was arrested at his dwelling days later and jailed for 4 years.

Ruth Cadbury MP, Shadow Prisons Minister stated: “These findings show a significant increase in the number of prison officers investigated for bringing drugs into prison.

‘‘These drugs fuel violence and disorder in our prisons and help fund organised crime gangs who are getting rich off this disorder.

‘‘The Government have sat on their hands as this crisis has unfurled on their watch and as disorder has spread across our prison estate. They’ve failed to tackle either the supply or the increased demand for drugs in prisons.”