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Romford men ‘threw phones over jail wall’ to inmate

PUBLISHED: 13:58 21 November 2011

Operation to cut down on phone smuggling at Chelmsford Prison

Operation to cut down on phone smuggling at Chelmsford Prison

Archant

Two Romford men have been arrested on suspicion of supplying mobile phones to a prisoner by throwing the handsets over an Essex prison wall.

The 22-year-old and 49-year-old man, believed to be a friend and the father of an inmate serving time for burglary, are thought to have thrown five mobile phones on two occasions into Chelmssford Prison.

They have both been released on bail until January 30 next year while the investigation continues, following their arrests on Novemebr 15.

A 43-year-old Tilbury man was arrested on October 24, for conspiracy to provide prohibited items within a prison.

He is suspected of supplying three mobile phones on two occasions to a man serving a sentence for violence.

He is on police bail until December 19.

Essex Police and HM Prison Service have launched Operation Skewbald to crackdown on the smuggling, known as throw overs, at the category B men’s jail.

The packages, normally drugs and/or mobile phones, are chucked over the walls of prisons by people outside and then retrieved by prisoners who are either serving sentences or on remand.

They are then used as an alternative currency within the prison.

Investigating Officer, Dc Cooper said: “We are working with the prison to clamp down on these offences. Mobile phones have a far greater value within the prison than outside. They can allow offenders to remain in contact with other criminals and continue to conspire and plot other crimes from their prison cell. We have a number of further arrests planned and people responsible for ‘throw overs’ need to be aware that they are likely to be joining their friends and relatives on the inside.”

The governor at HMP Chelmsford said: “Operation Skewbald is a good example of how the police and prison service are working together to tackle this problem. Anyone who tries to break the law by seeking to bring drugs or mobile phones into prison should be aware of the very serious risks that they are taking.”


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