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Locksmith is arrested amid fears copies of jail keys have been sold to prison inmates

Locksmith is arrested amid fears copies of jail keys have been sold to inmates at Wandsworth Prison – as taxpayers face a £1m bill to replace all 3,000 locks

  • Locksmith arrested amid fears copies of jail keys have been sold to inmates
  • Taxpayer faces a £1million bill to replace all 3,000 locks at HMP Wandsworth
  • The Category B prison houses prisoners requires a high level of security
  • Locks at risk believed to be on cell doors, internal control doors & outer ones 
  • A Prison Service spokesman said: ‘HMP Wandsworth has increased security at the gate and is operating extra identity checks’ 

A locksmith has been arrested amid fears copies of jail keys have been sold to inmates.

The taxpayer faces a £1million bill to replace all 3,000 locks at HMP Wandsworth after the security alert.

The Category B prison houses prisoners who do not require maximum security but still need a high level to prevent escape.

The locks at risk are believed to be those on cell doors, internal control doors and outer ones, the Sun reported.

A locksmith has been arrested amid fears copies of jail keys have been sold to inmates. The taxpayer faces a £1million bill to replace all 3,000 locks at HMP Wandsworth (pictured) after the security alert

Prison chiefs emphasised that police had ‘not yet’ found evidence that any of the 1,400 inmates held copies of the keys.

However, a source told paper: ‘It’s a huge scandal. When something like this happens you can’t take any risks – every single lock has to be changed.

‘In a prison of Wandsworth’s size, you’re talking thousands of locks. Governors are livid.’

Police arrested a man working at the south west London prison – one of the biggest in Western Europe – on September 13.

The locksmith was employed by Government Facility Services Ltd which services 52 jails in the south east of England.

The source added: ‘There’s a suggestion imprints of keys may have been taken in clay before copies were made.

‘You’ve got serious people in Wandsworth like sex offenders and violent cons.

‘The thought of them having access to keys doesn’t bear thinking about.’

A Prison Service spokesman said: 'HMP Wandsworth has increased security at the gate and is operating extra identity checks. It would be inappropriate to comment further while a police investigation is ongoing'

A Prison Service spokesman said: ‘HMP Wandsworth has increased security at the gate and is operating extra identity checks. It would be inappropriate to comment further while a police investigation is ongoing’

In 2006, Feltham Young Offenders Institute in west London replaced all of its 3,200 keys after those belonging to a prison officer were broadcast on TV. The cost at the time was estimated to be around £100 for each key.

In 2013, a prison officer was jailed earlier this month for smuggling £90,000 worth of contraband, including cannabis and steroids, into HMP Wandsworth.

The jail was also the setting of the infamous escape of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs in July 1965. Biggs used a rope ladder to scale the wall of the exercise yard.

A Prison Service spokesman said: ‘HMP Wandsworth has increased security at the gate and is operating extra identity checks.

‘It would be inappropriate to comment further while a police investigation is ongoing.’

A police spokesman said: ‘A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office following a criminal allegation.

‘He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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