Drones are great options to move goods around going unnoticed, including smuggling illegal goods especially drugs, into prisons. To combat this, UK has formed a group of specialist prison and police squad to track down these drones that poses threats to prisons, according to Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said this week on Monday.
In a recent incident that happen in UK, two drone pilots were caught trying to sneak in £48,000 (US$60,000) worth of smuggled goods into three different prisons around UK, and were sentenced to more than six years in prison. This was followed by a series of drone pilots caught smuggling contraband such as cannabis, spice and heroin, as well as mobile phones, into prisons.
The hired investigators will be working alongside national law enforcement agencies and HM Prison and Probation Services (HMPPS) to investigate and track down drones involved in smuggling attempts. Instead of trying to retrieve these drones out in mid-air, like police in France and Netherlands who are using highly trained birds of prey to do the dirty job, the newly-formed team will focus on gathering intelligence from across prisons, tracking down perpetrators behind these illegal flights. The Justice Secretary is funding for 2,500 extra frontline prison officers, along with drug testing and the training of more than 300 drug detection dogs to detect these illegal substances.
“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 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.”
[Source: Government of the United Kingdom]