Crack, heroin and cannabis – drugs sold every day inside Walton jail
A FORMER jail worker at HMP Liverpool has called for action to stem the flow of lethal drugs flooding into the prison.
Today, the ECHO can lift the lid on the daily drug trafficking operations that are riddling Walton jail with heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.
An ex-NHS employee, who worked in the prison healthcare centre for over 12 months, slammed the customary search policy as “very lax”.
And he revealed that wardens are regularly targeted by ruthless inmates to smuggle hauls inside.
The ex-NHS employee has blasted the situation as “out of hand” and details:
A bag of heroin openly retailing at £50 in the jail.
Mobile phones, used to arrange drug deals, available for £350.
Prisoners running up thousands of pounds of debt due to Class A addictions.
Relatives and friends of inmates expertly passing on drugs during visits by “kissing and sticking packages up kids’ jumpers”.
Basic “nightclub-style” searches, that fail to stop visitors, and some wardens, from bringing in drugs unnoticed.
The Liverpool man told the ECHO: “Staff can make a lot of money bringing in drugs. If you bring in a couple of ounces of heroin, they will make £1,400 and staff a couple of hundred quid.
“One female member of staff was recently caught smuggling drugs by hiding them in multi-packs of crisps.
“The search policy for staff is rudimentary and lax. I was searched just once. It blew my socks off.”
The former health worker says drug trafficking is run by a few well-known and notorious Liverpool families with lieutenants on different wings.
During his employment, the insider was approached several times by inmates to bring drugs in, but says he always refused.
It has been known for guards to be secretly photographed while picking up drugs on the “outside” to be brought into prison as a form of blackmail.
The former healthcare worker said: “Prisoners groom workers, get dead ‘pally’ with them. You’ve got to keep your guard up.
“There are lots of threats associated with drug trafficking. We regularly got people coming into the healthcare wards who had been assaulted.
“If a person gets into debt they get a warning. After three warnings they get beaten or slashed. I’ve seen a lot of inmates desperate to be transferred to different wings.
“If somebody does get a transfer, the debt is attached to their old cell. A new person coming to that cell has a debt to pay which is nothing to do with them.”
Tactics for getting drugs into prison are said to be well-rehearsed with some offenders swallowing condoms filled with small bags of drugs just before being sentenced.
When inside prison, people convicted of minor offences are pressurised to persuade relatives to bring in drugs.
People who enter the jail without a drug habit often soon become users.
As one insider put it: “If you’re a guy under the age of 30, staying off drugs is hard as the situation is endemic.
“Two-thirds of the people there have bought into the mindset of criminality. Prison is an occupational hazard.”
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “This former member of staff should provide evidence to the governor so he can investigate these allegations.
“The vast majority of Prison Service staff are honest, hardworking and professional, and we do not tolerate staff corruption of any sort. Any allegations are thoroughly investigated.
“Where evidence is found to support them, we take disciplinary action, and where appropriate, refer the matter to the police. Measures are in place to prevent the supply of drugs into prison, including searching strategies, mobile phone signal detectors and Body Orifice Security Scanners.
“The government takes the threats created by mobile phones in prisons very seriously and we are committed to tackling and disrupting their use.” THE ECHO