Deadly drugs be­ing ‘passed be­tween cells us­ing toi­lets’ at city prison Al­le­ga­tions fol­low four in­mate deaths as lo­cal MP calls for ur­gent in­quiry

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Jeanette Old­ham In­ves­ti­ga­tions Edi­tor

DRUGS are al­legedly be­ing sold on to in­mates in HMP Birm­ing­ham us­ing pipes be­tween toi­lets in cells.

Former le­gal highs known as ‘black mamba’ or ‘spice’ have be­come drugs of choice for crim­i­nals at the Win­son Green jail, but have had dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects.

The G4S-run prison has been rocked by four deaths in a month, with two sus­pected of be­ing linked to the syn­thetic highs.

It is claimed that drug use is so rife that prison of­fi­cers have been treated for the ef­fects of sec­ondary smok­ing.

There are also claims of mul­ti­ple in­mates col­laps­ing after tak­ing the drugs, which were made il­le­gal fol­low­ing a se­ries of deaths in the UK.

Now it is claimed that once drugs are smug­gled into the prison they are be­ing sold on be­tween cells via toi­lets.

A source said: “Cells on top of each other can pass the drugs from one to an­other by us­ing torn sheets as ropes and flush­ing the toi­lets at the same time. The level of spice and mamba in the prison is mas­sive.

“But the con­tents of the drugs vary from batch to batch. Some just make users gig­gly like they are drunk. But other batches can be very dan­ger­ous. A very dan­ger­ous batch hit the city re­cently.”

A fourth HMP Birm­ing­ham in­mate re­cently died in just one month after al­legedly tak­ing drugs smug­gled in through his toi­let.

An­drew Carr, 23, was found dead in his cell in the prison’s seg­re­ga­tion unit where in­mates are sup­posed to face in­creased se­cu­rity checks.

It is un­der­stood he may have taken drugs smug­gled into his cell via his toi­let, po­ten­tially black mamba or spice.

If con­firmed, his death would be the sec­ond linked to sus­pected drug use at the G4S-run jail in a month. Sources claim the prison is be­ing ‘flooded’ with the syn­thetic highs, with mul­ti­ple in­mates laps­ing.

An­other in­mate died in a sus­pected sui­cide in re­cent weeks, while an­other passed away from nat­u­ral causes.

Perry Barr MP Khalid Mah­mood called for an ur­gent in­quiry into the pri­vately-run jail, which has suf­fered two se­ri­ous ri­ots in the last two years.

He said: “These ri­ots and these deaths in such a short space of time are con­tin­u­ing to bring the se­cu­rity of the prison into ques­tion.

“There are not enough of­fi­cers to deal with these tions.

“It’s very im­por­tant that this sit­u­a­tion is taken very se­ri­ously and I would like to see the Min­istry of Jus­tice carry out an in­quiry into these deaths in such a short pe­riod of time, and the drugs prob­lem at the prison.”

Rob Kel­lett, di­rec­tor at HMP Birm­ing­ham said: “Ev­ery death in cus­tody is a tragedy and is always thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated by the Pris­ons and Pro­ba­tion Om­buds­man.

“While the re­cent deaths at HMP Birm­ing­ham are be­lieved to be un­re­lated events, in­ves­ti­ga­tions are cur­rently on­go­ing and it would not be ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment fur­ther.

“The wel­fare of pris­on­ers in our cus­tody is a top pri­or­ity, and our ded­i­cated staff work in chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances to en­sure that ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port is in place for pris­on­ers, and that we are do­ing our up­most to de­tect and in­ter­cept drugs and other con­tra­band.

“We have re­cently in­vested in sig­nif­i­cant up­grades to our drug de­tec­tion equip­ment and we re­view and re­fresh our search­ing pro­cesses on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

He added: “We con­tinue to work closely with part­ners, in­clud­ing West Mid­lands Po­lice and the Re­gional Prison In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team, to find and pros­e­cute those re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing con­tra­band into pris­ons, and this has al­ready led to sev­eral peo­ple be­ing ar­rested and charged this year.” col- prison situa-

Cells on top of each other can pass the drugs from one to an­other by us­ing torn sheets as ropes Prison source

> Sources say drug use is rife within HMP Birm­ing­ham at Win­son Green

> Dead: Rapist Ri­cardo Hol­gate

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