Joint operation targets prison visitors

08 October 2013

The NCA has arrested five people at HMP Lindholme, as a result of a joint operation involving NCA officers, South Yorkshire Police and Her Majesty's Prison Service, aiming to disrupt the supply of contraband items being smuggled into a prison.

Four visitors to the prison were arrested for being in possession of drugs with the intent to supply and one was found to be in possession of an offensive weapon. An additional 27 people were denied access to the prison after drug swabs of their vehicles tested positive.

The operation, which was launched 18 months ago by one of the NCA's precursor agencies, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), has already had successes with 50 prisoners being caught attempting to smuggle items such as drugs, sim cards, mobile phones and weapons into the prison. Over 30 vehicles have also been seized with items inside recovered.

This is one of the very first operations carried out by the National Crime Agency, a new single law enforcement body that will lead the national response to serious and organised crime threats - from smashing multi-million pound, cross-border drug deals and cracking intricate global cyber systems, to tracking down child sex abusers in the hidden web and uncovering some of the most complex international money fraud.

Gordon Meldrum, NCA Director of Organised Crime said:

"We are committed to tackling serious and organised crime, no matter where or how it is perpetrated.  Organised criminals will often try to continue to ply their trade behind bars. That is why operations such as this are vital to protect both prisons and the communities they serve."

HMP Lindholme Governor Mahala McGuffie:

"This is an excellent example of how criminal justice agencies can work together to make prisons safer places for both prisoners and staff.  We are particularly grateful to the new National Crime Agency and the South Yorkshire police for their co-operation and support in ensuring that criminal behaviour is stopped at the prison gate."

South Yorkshire Chief Inspector Gwyn Thomas said:

"South Yorkshire Police have been working with the National Crime Agency, the Prison Service and the National Crime Agency on this operation which aims to disrupt the supply of contraband items being smuggled into prisons in Doncaster.

"We will continue to run these types of operations in partnership with National Crime Agency and the Prison Service and act upon any intelligence gained from them and encourage anyone with information about items being smuggled into prisons to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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