The UK has set up a new specialist police unit to monitor growing incidents of unmanned drones dropping contrabands like drugs and mobile phones into prisons. “We are absolutely determined to tackle the illegal flow of drugs and mobile phones into our prisons and turn them into places of safety and reform,” said UK Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah. “The threat posed by drones is clear, but our dedicated staff are committed to winning the fight against those who are attempting to thwart progress by wreaking havoc in establishments all over the country. My message to those who involve themselves in this type of criminal activity is clear; we will find you and put you behind bars,” he said.
There has been a sharp increase in incidents involving drones in the recent years, with gadgets being detected in or around jails in England and Wales 33 times in 2015, according to official figures. This is up from two the year before and there were no recorded incidents in 2013. The new squad of prison and police officers will work with law enforcement agencies and HM Prison and Probation Service to inspect drones that are recovered in a bid to identify those involved in attempts to smuggle in contraband.
Investigators will bring together intelligence from across the prisons and the police to pin-point lines of inquiry, which will be passed to local forces and organised crime officers.