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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Three arrested in crackdown on Cumbria prison drugs

THREE men have been arrested as part of a double-pronged attack on the drug supply at Cumbria’s only jail.

Operation Helmwind is an ongoing operation run by Cumbria police and the National Offender Management Service which runs HMP Haverigg.

As part of the ongoing crackdown designed to disrupt the supply of drugs into the jail, officers from the newly formed operational support unit and the automatic number plate recognition team carried out random spot checks on cars in the Haverigg area on Wednesday.

As part of the operation. three men from the Manchester area were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

Three men were issued with warnings after being found in possession of cannabis and three other men were turned back from their journey to the prison after signs of drug abuse were spotted in their cars.

A Cumbria police spokesman said: “Operation Helmwind is an ongoing operation and we will continue to target the area around Haverigg periodically in order to disrupt any drug supply to the prison.”

A report issued by the Home Office this week shows 30 per cent of inmates have used illegal substances while serving in UK jails. Of these, cannabis is the most commonly used with 22 per cent of drug users in jail admitting to using, 14 per cent said they had used heroin, eight per cent said they had used unprescribed methadone, and five per cent had used either crack cocaine, cocaine, LSD or ecstasy.

The police patrols aimed to disrupt the supply of drugs reaching the prison.

The majority of drugs and mobile phones are “delivered” by friends and relatives approaching the fence and throwing the goods over, either in smalls bags or even stuffed into dead birds.

While Operation Helmwind has helped to dramatically cut the number of illegal drugs and items finding their way into the jail the problem remains.

The category C prison holds 644 inmates.

In December another operation saw a 32-year-old man from Salford arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis while a 23-year-old man from the same area was arrested after he failed to stop for police officers.

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