POLICE have arrested 11 people as part of an operation to stop drugs being smuggled into a young offenders' institution.

Four inmates and seven of their friends and relatives have been charged with conspiracy to supply drugs to inmates at Deerbolt Young Offenders' Institution, near Barnard Castle, County Durham.

The suspects are from Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Sheffield, and are charged with conspiracy to supply heroin, cannabis and the painkiller Temgesic.

They are due to appear in court later this month.