AN investigation has been launched at HMP Hewell after allegations that prison officers are stealing from inmates.

Prisoners have been complaining that postal orders sent in by relatives and loved ones on the outside have been intercepted inside the Tardebigge prison.

One recently released prisoner, who did not want to be named, said: “Feelings are running high in the prison because it is obvious that postal orders are being stolen by officers.

“If it happened once then the postal service could be blamed but it is happening regularly.

“Prisoners have spoken to relatives who have sent in postal orders and are waiting for their post to arrive but nothing comes.”

He added: “One of the officers told us that there is an investigation, whoever is doing it is being very blatant.

"It comes to something when the prison guards are the ones breaking the law in prison.”

Prisoners work for money and also rely on money sent in from the outside and the inmate believes the thefts are creating trouble between inmates as well as officers.

He said: “There have been plenty of arguments because of this as prisoners owe debts to one another and rely on their postal orders to pay them off.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed that an investigation has been launched into the theft of postal orders at the jail.

He said: “We are aware of these allegations and are investigating.”