Five guards at West Lothian jail forced to quit after failing drug tests

FIVE newly-recruited guards at privately-run Addiewell prison have reportedly been forced to quit after failing drug tests.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 10:30 am
Updated Friday, 25th October 2019, 11:52 am
The privately-run prison opened in 2008

The trainees were made to resign after samples revealed cocaine in their systems, according to The Sun.

The paper claimed the guards at the West Lothian jail were just weeks into their jobs and had been shadowing senior staff to complete their training.

A source was quoted saying said: “The trainees were taken away and didn’t return.

“Information got to the bosses about them taking drugs and it’s believed they all tested positive for cocaine.

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“They had just completed the main part of their training but were all hauled in and had no option but to quit.”

Tory shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “Officers failing drug tests creates the impression of a chaotic prison environment.”

An Addiewell spokesman confirmed: “Five staff members resigned for not meeting our high standards.”

Figures released earlier this year revealed 207 drug seizures from prisoners over a 12-month period at Addiewell. The statistics also recorded 36 mobile phones were seized and 19 weapons found in the same period.

And in January a damning report by prison inspectors criticised staffing levels and the standard of inmate care at the jail .

The jail, near West Calder, opened in 2008 and is run by private company Sodexo. The inspectors found over 35 per cent of staff had less than two years' experience of working in a custodial environment and the prison was operating with 36 fewer staff than previously recommended.

An HMP Addiewell spokesman said: “We expect all our staff to meet our high standards and will take appropriate action where they have been found not to.

“We can confirm that the vigilant work of our officers has resulted in five members of staff resigning for not meeting these standards.”