Parcels seized and arrests made as part of an investigation into prison throw overs
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Early this morning (Friday 19 November 2021), GMP officers executed search warrants at two addresses in Salford with support from HMPPS prison officers and their search dogs.
Two wrapped parcels suspected to contain contraband intended for throwing into HMP Forest Bank have been seized and two men - aged 33 and 19 - have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to convey articles into prison. They remain in custody for questioning.
These warrants were intelligence led under Operation Dragonfire and were carried out by the new GMP Challenger Prison Team as part of an investigation into parcels being thrown over the prison walls at HMP Forest Bank.
Co-ordinated searches were also carried out last night inside of HMP Forest Bank by prison officers who seized several mobile phones which intelligence suggests are linked to the investigation.
The new Challenger Prison Team was set up in November to target organised crime linked to the four prisons in Greater Manchester and includes the investigation of prison throw overs due to the involvement of Organised Crime Groups in the sale of drugs, phones and weapons inside of prisons.
The team co-ordinates Operation Dragonfire which brings together Greater Manchester Police (GMP), HMP Forest Bank, HMP Forest Bank (Sodexo), HMPPS and North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), to further the work carried out by prison staff and to target the higher tiers of organised criminal networks here in Greater Manchester.
Detective Inspector Jack Murphy, of GMP's Operation Dragonfire, said: "Today's activity has resulted in two arrests and a number of significant seizures which will be forensically examined as part of this investigation.
"The new Challenger Prison Team are dedicated to relentlessly pursuing any individuals involved in these throw overs both inside and outside the GMP prisons. These parcels often contain class A drugs, mobile phones, steroids, tobacco, paper soaked in spice, cannabis and even knives.
"Contraband such as this is often up to five times more expensive when sold inside of prisons and can make the prison an unsafe environment. It can promote gang culture and can lead to further crimes being committed by inmates and pose a serious risk to the safety of prison staff and prisoners, whilst lining the pockets of Organised Crime Groups."
David Smart, Deputy Director at HMP Forest Bank, said “Organised crime has a negative effect on the safety and security of the staff and residents at Forest Bank and we are proud of our partnership with the Challenger Prison Team in making our prison and the community we serve a safer place to be.”
If you have any further information about prison related crime please report online or by using the LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk.
Alternatively, reports can be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.