Prison smugglers tackled in Bedford

09/06/15 Doors gallery - Bedford, Bedford'Bedford Doors - Bedford Prison PNL-170616-143623001
09/06/15 Doors gallery - Bedford, Bedford'Bedford Doors - Bedford Prison PNL-170616-143623001

Contraband smugglers at HMP Bedford are being tackled by a joint effort from police, council and prison bosses.

Bedford Borough Council’s CCTV Team have aided Bedfordshire Police in tackling ‘throw overs’ of contraband items at Bedford Prison.

The CCTV Team spotted three individuals throwing contraband items over the wall on two separate occasions in the space of two days this week. They quickly got in touch with Bedfordshire Police, facilitating successful arrests.

At 3.21am on Sunday (August 18), a male in Adelaide Square was captured by CCTV throwing an item over the prison wall. Descriptions and images were shared with police and a male, who has previously been arrested for the same offence, was stopped and arrested by officers in Boswell Place.

The following day, at 9.36am, two males were seen in Adelaide Square and an item was thrown over the prison wall. CCTV images were sent to police who were able to stop and arrest two males on Bromham Road.

Partnership has previously seen individuals charged and put behind bars for trying to throw items such as mobile phones, tobacco, and illegal drugs into the prison.

Cllr Colleen Atkins, portfolio holder for community safety at Bedford Borough Council, said: “This is another example of good partnership working in the borough. Our CCTV team continuously work alongside the police and prison staff to help catch those involved in attempted throw overs.”

Three men have now been charged with attempting to bring prohibited items into Bedford Prison, in connection to two separate incidents over the weekend.

Sergeant Ian Leeson oversees Operation Yellow tackling smuggling into the prison.

He said: “This is yet more evidence of the good work and real impact we are having on criminality at the prison.

“We have secured a number of significant arrests and sentences already this year, and will continue to work with the prison and the council to tackle this threat.”

PJ Butler, governor of HMP Bedford, said: “The collaborative relationship between the prison and our wonderful partner agencies is working incredibly well to detect, capture and prosecute individuals who seek to break the law.

“This is a premonition that these individuals should heed.”