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A UK woman prison officer has been formally charged following the emergence of a social media video purportedly depicting her engaging in sexual activity with an inmate at HMP Wandsworth, a prison in southwest London, as reported by the BBC. Linda De Sousa Abreu, aged 30 and residing in Fulham, west London, faces allegations of misconduct in public office and is slated to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court today.

The Metropolitan Police initiated an inquiry on Friday after the video, allegedly filmed within the prison, surfaced online. According to reports, the footage shows the officer initially in full uniform before the alleged incident occurred.

HMP Wandsworth, a Victorian-era prison established in 1851, has been confronting severe challenges such as overcrowding and deteriorating conditions. Recent inspections have unveiled disturbing issues including widespread violence, pest infestations, and acute staffing shortages. Originally designed for a significantly smaller population, the prison currently operates at 163 per cent of its intended capacity, accommodating over 1,500 inmates.

The situation at HMP Wandsworth has spurred urgent calls for reform. In May, Chief Inspector of Prisons Charlie Taylor issued an “urgent notification” to Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, underscoring the prison’s critical condition and the imperative need for immediate improvements. Taylor’s report characterized the prison wings as “chaotic” and highlighted the staff’s struggles in managing and accounting for prisoners effectively. This inspection ultimately led to the resignation of the prison’s governor, Katie Price.

A spokesperson from Scotland Yard confirmed an ongoing investigation into the matter, emphasizing that staff corruption is intolerable. A representative from the Prison Service reported the former prison officer featured in the video to the police but refrained from further commentary due to the active nature of the investigation.

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