Police admit bugging jails

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The Home Office and Prison Service have admitted that police are bugging prison cells and fitting listening devices to informers in jail in attempts to obtain evidence from top-level criminals.

Prison officers were angered by the revelation, fearing they could be the victims of a violent backlash by disgruntled inmates.

The listening devices are either hidden inside a cell, usually among the furniture, or attached to a police "grass". Although taped confessions so obtained are inadmissible in court, the police say they can provide useful leads. Jason Bennetto