A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into prison after a weeklong joint operation by police and HMP Bedford. Image: Bedfordshire Police

Weeklong HMP Bedford and Bedfordshire Police operation

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into prison after a weeklong joint operation by police and HMP Bedford.

The man in his 40s from Bedford was arrested on suspicion of bringing a number of List A prohibited articles into a prison.

The arrest was made as officers from Bedfordshire Police supported prison search teams. The suspect has been released under investigation pending further enquiries. Police also made two further arrests as a result of patrols around the prison perimeter during the week of action last week.

Sergeant Ian Leeson, from the Bedford community policing team, led last week’s operation. He said:

“Overall, the week has seen some extremely positive results and prevented a large quantity of drugs and mobile phones from entering HMP Bedford.

“In addition to this we developed a number of intelligence leads, arrested several other people and created a large amount of disruption to those seeking to get contraband into the prison.”

Officers carried out more than 12 hours of perimeter patrols throughout the week, including plain-clothed deployments.

The operation also involved engagement with local residents living around the prison to address any issues and increase the police’s understanding of the so-called “throwovers” of contraband.

Already this year three other people have been arrested on suspicion of bringing prohibited items into HMP Bedford, while three others have also been given prison sentences.

PJ Butler, the governor of HMP Bedford, said:

“This is helping to make HMP Bedford a safer place for all who work and live there, and for our local neighbourhood.

“The message must surely be clear to those who attempt to get illicit items into the prison. You will be caught and you will end up on the wrong side of the wall.”