A new specialist unit hopes to help stop drones from delivering drugs and mobiles to prisoners in the UK.
The last several years has seen a drastic increase in drone-related activity in prisons.
Statistics show that in 2015, prisons in England and Wales documented 33 incidents of drone activity compared to just 2 incidents in 2013.
The Ministry of Justice has even gone as far as emphasizing the big increase in drone incidents, highlighting the problem further.
The specialist unit, composed of police and prison officers, will collaborate with several law enforcement agencies, along with the HM Prison and Probation Service to examine drones detected in jails. They hope to find enough evidence and information to track down the pilots and others involved.
Investigative officers will compile intelligence gathered from a variety of sources to gather leads to pass on to police forces and specialist officers.
This crackdown on drone smuggling will hopefully deter people from sending drugs and mobiles into prisons, and will hopefully allow the government and prison officers to better deal with the increasing numbers of violent incidents and self-harm and self-mutilation in prisoners.
Recently, it was discovered that drones helped criminals flood prisons and jails with about £48,000 in contraband.
Sam Gyimah, a Prison Minster, said that they were “absolutely determined” to deal with the flow of narcotics and mobiles into prisons, emphasizing the importance of this specialist unit and the problems they’re to tackle.
Gyimah stated that staff is working hard to combat drug and mobile smuggling, because the threat that drones pose to the reformation of prisoners is obviously apparent.
Gyimah also stated that they and their staff are committed to finding and punishing those who organise, pilot, and deliver contraband via drones.
Additional examples provided by the Ministry of Justice:
- Renelle Carlisle, a 23-year-old man, was caught outside HMP Risley in Warrington trying to smuggle drugs into the prison via drone. He was jailed for three years and four months as a result in October.
- Dean Rawley-Bell, a 21-year-old man, was caught using a drone to smuggle narcotics and mobiles into HMP Manchester. He was jailed for four years and eight months as a result in December.
- Daniel Kelly, a 37-year-old man, was caught smuggling contraband to prisoners in HMP Swaleside, HMP Wandsworth, HMP Elmey, and HMP The Mount. He was sentenced to 14 months in prison as a result.