Prison officers in bribery inquiry

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The Independent Online
THREE OFFICERS have been suspended from Brixton prison in south London, accused of taking bribes from inmates.

Scotland Yard is investigating claims that they smuggled in mobile phones, helped some prisoners to avoid unwelcome work duties and helped others to move to a relaxed wing. The three suspended officers are said to have accepted cash and gifts from friends and relatives of prisoners.

Two of the officers were relieved of their duties last Monday and the third two days later after statements from an inmate serving life. Officers are also believed to have arranged transfers to open prisons.

Scotland Yard said "allegations of dishonesty" among Brixton staff were being investigated but refused to give details.

The suspensions came days after 22 officers at Wormwood Scrubs were charged with assaulting inmates. Last month Sir David Ramsbotham, the chief inspector of prisons, revealed that governors and managers had spent years "turning a blind eye" to bullying at the west London jail.

Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, described the treatment meted out to inmates as "evil".