Prisons Corruption Unit

28May08


Special Met police unit to root out corrupt prison officers
26th May 2008

Senior Metropolitan Police sources estimate that one in 10 prison officers – about 1,000 in total – are corrupt.

The “ghost squad” will target these “rogue” officers in an attempt to stem the “apparently limitless” supply of drugs and mobile phones within prisons.

Earlier this year, a former jail chief said more than £100 million worth of drugs is traded in prisons each year, most of it smuggled in by guards.  In 2006, the last year for which figures are available, 68 prison staff were suspended for trafficking drugs and other banned items.

In the same year, a female prison officer named 30 allegedly corrupt colleagues at Pentonville Prison, north London – which was rated the worst performing prison in Britain last year. The whistle-blower said officers had helped to plan escapes, supplied and taken drugs and smuggled a gun into a prisoner’s cell. It led to 14 guards being suspended.

The independent monitoring board (IMB) at Wandsworth Prison criticised the “apparently limitless” supply of phones in Britain’s biggest jail. It said inmates were using phones to order drugs, to continue running their criminal activities and to plot escapes.

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