Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham prison officer arrested over 'drug dealing'

Winson Green prison
Image caption The officer was arrested after avoiding a search of all staff returning from their lunch breaks

A prison officer suspected of dealing drugs inside HMP Birmingham has been arrested, West Midlands Police said.

The 35-year-old was held at the G4S-run prison after avoiding a search of staff returning from their breaks on Tuesday.

A package suspected of containing psychoactive powder - formally known as legal highs - was later recovered from a rubbish bin.

A search of the officer's car revealed a roll of gaffer tape and suspected packages of cannabis leaf.

The substances have been sent off to be forensically analysed.

The man, from Kingstanding, Birmingham, has been arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply, supplying a psychoactive substance into a prison and misconduct in a public office.

Det Con Jim Farrell said: "The effects of drugs can impact negatively on the behaviour of prisoners and increase the likelihood for violence and disorder.

"Anyone found in possession of a banned substance will be prosecuted.

"Equally, anyone who tries to convey drugs into the jail - either by hurling it over the perimeter wall or smuggling it in person - is likely to find themselves on the other side of the fence."

Peter Small, director of the Winson Green prison, said: "We expect the highest standards of integrity from those working at the prison and if there is any suggestion that a member of the team has undermined the good work of their colleagues we will always take action."

West Midlands Police has a permanent investigation team inside HMP Birmingham focused on tackling contraband smuggling and violence in the prison.

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