NEARLY 140 prisoners are thought to have been moved from Erlestoke Prison after a riot.

There have been reports of disturbances and damage to a building in the Category C prison.

Unconfirmed reports suggest two wings are out of action because of prisoner disruption with as many as 138 prisoners being moved elsewhere.

Today the governor Steve Hodson said he was unable to comment and passed inquiries to the Home Office.

A spokesman there confirmed there had been two separate incidents on Saturday involving three prisoners. One received a minor injury. Police were not called to the prison and the situation was dealt with by specially trained prison staff.

The incidents started in the afternoon and were over by 3am.

The spokesman denied the unrest was linked in any way to the recently enforced smoking ban.

On Saturday, Warminster police were called to the prison in the village between Devizes and Westbury after prison staff detained a visitor following a security search.

A 65-year-old male from Slough was caught allegedly smuggling in a concealed mobile phone and what appeared to be controlled drugs.

The man was stopped before reaching the visiting area and was arrested for an offence against the Prison Act and on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply.

He has been released on police bail pending further enquiries and analysis of the suspicious substance with conditions not to enter Wiltshire until his specified return date in July.

On Sunday a prison van was seen surrounded by police vehicles in Northgate Street, Devizes.

It is not known if this incident was related to moving prisoners from Erlestoke to other prisons.

One source, who did not want to be named, said: "Rival gangs, bullying and intimidation are common place at the prison with staff having to deal with unsuitable category B prisoners, at a category C/D prison."