Success for operation targeting smuggling at HMP Bedford Image By Simon Speed - Own work, Public Domain,

Crackdown on smuggling into HMP Bedford continues amid a wave of arrests and prison sentences

Last year, Bedfordshire Police launched a new dedicated operation to target the smuggling of contraband into HMP Bedford. This included more proactive patrols and closer working with colleagues at HMP Bedford.

Patrols around the prison by officers have resulted in three arrests on suspicion of throwing items over prison walls, so called ‘throw overs’, so far. These offences remain under investigation.

Three men have also been handed prison sentences at Luton Crown Court this year for attempting to bring prohibited items into HMP Bedford.

Sergeant Ian Leeson, who is coordinating the police response to contraband in the prison, said:

“Ourselves and the prison have really stepped up our response to this problem and started to get a grip on the flow of illegal items into HMP Bedford.

“These recent sentences should serve as a warning to all those engaged in prison smuggling that this will not be tolerated and those responsible will be punished.”

In January Joseph Searle, 25, was sentenced to serve an additional year on his jail term, after it was discovered he arranged for drugs and syringes to be smuggled in.

Also that month Filip Tanasescu, 21, of Pedley Road, Dagenham, pleaded guilty to attempting to throw a prohibited item into HMP Bedford. He was sentenced to four months behind bars.

Two weeks ago, a 71-year-old man from Cambridgeshire received a suspended prison sentence. He had wrapped a mobile phone, charger and SIM cards in tobacco and cling film and attempted to hand them over to a prisoner he was visiting.

Work is now ongoing with the prison and local residents to enhance the prison’s security and make it even harder for the would-be smugglers to get contraband inside.

Anyone with information about the issue can contact police on 101 or via the force’s online reporting centre.

Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.