Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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UK forms special squad to take down prison drug drones

PRison Drug Drones
Photo by Andrew Turner

Training carrier pigeons to drop things beyond prison walls is over, these days all you need is inexpensive prison drug drones to achieve the same goal. While maybe not as reliable, remote-controlled drones carrying drugs and phones into prisons are now a persistent problem for law enforcement. So much so that today the UK government has announced a new “specialist squad of prison and police officers” has been assembled to investigate the flying smugglers.

The project is more of an intel-sharing initiative. Police and prison officers will work with other agencies to examine prison drug drones recovered from unsuccessful runs to identify those involved in the smuggling operations, passing that info down to local-level officers to take action.

The first British national to be jailed for flying contraband into prisons by drone received a 14-month sentence last July. 37-year-old Daniel Kelly was locked up for 14 months for trying to supply offenders at HMP Elmley and Swaleside in Sheppey, HMP Wandsworth in London and HMP The Mount in Hemel Hempstead with contraband.

In December, Dean Rawley-Bell, 21, was jailed for four years and eight months after he used a drone in attempts to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into HMP Manchester.

In October, drug dealer Renelle Carlisle, 23, was jailed for three years and four months after he was caught outside HMP Risley in Warrington with a drone in his bag, trying to smuggle drugs inside.

The latest crackdown will help disrupt the flow of drugs and mobile phones, which hinder attempts to create prisons that are places of safety and reform, and where offenders have the chance to turn their lives around.

Proposed changes in the Prisons and Courts Bill will make it easier for prisons to test offenders for emerging dangerous psychoactive substances, whilst all prisons have been equipped with portable and fixed detectors to tackle phones.

A £3 million intelligence hub to tackle gang crime behind bars has also been established by the Justice Secretary.

Source: UK GOV / EnGadget

Photo by Andrew Turner