Officer at privately run prison ‘was drunk at work on Christmas Day’


A police investigation is under way and a prison officer has been suspended after allegedly being found drunk at work on Christmas Day, the private firm that runs the jail has said.

Sodexo Justice Services, which runs HMP Northumberland near Morpeth, gave only brief details about the incident as police were making inquiries.

It was believed the investigation would look at any possible breach of laws surrounding the management of offenders and alleged use of alcohol.

A Sodexo spokesman said: “An employee at HMP Northumberland has been suspended following an incident on Christmas Day.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further while a police investigation is under way.”

A Northumbria police spokesman said: “We are aware of the incident and we will be working with staff at HMP Northumberland to carry out inquiries.”

Sodexo took over the category C prison in December 2013 and union officials criticised job cuts when disorder among prisoners broke out there in March.