Arrest made as part of operation into Class A drug supply at HMP Northumberland and other prisons

A suspected drug supplier has found themselves in handcuffs after an intelligence-led operation saw an investigation into staff and workers at HMP Northumberland.
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The arrest was made as part of a continued crackdown on serious and organised crime and those enabling it inside the region’s prisons.

The operation was a joint effort by officers from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) and the Counter Corruption Team at HMP Northumberland.

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Today (Thursday), the two teams conducted a co-ordinated operation that resulted in the arrest of a 56-year-old woman. She remains in police custody at this time.

HMP Northumberland is located near Acklington.HMP Northumberland is located near Acklington.
HMP Northumberland is located near Acklington.

Previous inquiries led to the discovery of £1,500 in cash inside a personal vehicle and nearly 1,000 Class C pills, as well as a quantity of cocaine – a Class A drug – inside the prison.

NEROCU Detective Inspector Gaye Martin said: “This operation is a strong and united front to stamp out any illegal activities going on behind prison walls.

“Operations like this are just some of the tactics we are using to continue to disrupt and dismantle serious and organised crime under the banner of Operation Sentinel – our region-wide approach to tackling organised crime in all its forms.

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“We will not tolerate criminality at any level and we want to make it clear that our work with partners, including our region’s prisons, to tackle any offending of this nature will continue.”

Sodexo took over the operational management of HMP Northumberland, located near Acklington, in 2013 and a Sodexo spokesperson said: “The possession of illicit items such as drugs in any prison is illegal and we constantly review our activity to tackle the issue, as safety and security are our top priorities.

“Our staff and our Counter Corruption Team deploy a range of tactics to stop prohibited items from being introduced to the prison. This collaborative work with NEROCU is delivering the right outcomes to keep those who live and work in the prison safe from illegal activity.”

If you are aware of any form of criminal activity, or have concerns, please contact your local police force and report it.

Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.