Ministers set up ‘Line of Duty’ corruption unit to tackle drugs in jails

Ministers have set up a Line of Duty-style anti-corruption unit to tackle the epidemic of drug-taking in prisons.

Many inmates are hooked on the psychoactive substance Spice and watchdogs have described the crisis as ‘out of control’. 

But there is growing evidence the drugs are being smuggled in by prison officers working for organised gangs.

A new anti-corruption unit to tackle the epidemic of drugs in prisons will work in a similar fashion to the fictional AC-12 unit in the BBC's hit series Line of Duty (pictured)

A new anti-corruption unit to tackle the epidemic of drugs in prisons will work in a similar fashion to the fictional AC-12 unit in the BBC's hit series Line of Duty (pictured)

A new anti-corruption unit to tackle the epidemic of drugs in prisons will work in a similar fashion to the fictional AC-12 unit in the BBC’s hit series Line of Duty (pictured)

Police chiefs strongly suspect gang members are encouraging associates or family members to get jobs in prisons to bring in banned substances.

In one unnamed jail in the West Midlands, up to 13 employees were suspended last year for smuggling in drugs.

The Counter Corruption Unit was launched this week and will pursue any officers suspected of corruption in prison and probation services.

Many inmates are hooked on the psychoactive substance Spice and watchdogs have described the crisis as 'out of control'

Many inmates are hooked on the psychoactive substance Spice and watchdogs have described the crisis as 'out of control'

Many inmates are hooked on the psychoactive substance Spice and watchdogs have described the crisis as ‘out of control’

It will work in a similar fashion to the fictional AC-12 unit in the BBC’s hit series Line of Duty, which is tasked with rooting out police corruption.

 The unit will consist of intelligence analysts who will work on tip-offs from prison staff to identify culprits. 

Prison employees can already report wrongdoing anonymously via a hotline.

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