An operation launched to combat contraband behind bars in North East prisons has been launched and has already seen multiple devices seized for forensic enquiries.

Suspect electronic devices were seized last week from 30 staff of HM Prison Deerbolt in County Durham as a new operation is launched to crack down on contraband behind bars.

The North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) partnered with Durham Constabulary last week for the prison day of action, with the operation to henceforth be known as Operation Sentinel.

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Darlington and Stockton Times:

Whilst the operation has begun in County Durham, the organisation has said it will be rolled out across the region to "tackle organised crime".

The NEROCU said on X: "We held a prison day of action in CountyDurham last week as part of a continued crackdown on those enabling organised crime inside our prisons.

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"Joined by Durham Constabulary & prison staff at HM Prison Deerbolt we searched 30 staff & vehicles.

"The operation aimed to take robust action against anyone suspected of being involved in illegally importing contraband into the prison.

"As part of the initiative, a number of electronic devices were seized & are being forensically examined while enquiries continue."