The U.K. government has formed a “specialist squad” of prison and police officers to tackle the threat drones are posing to prison security, Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah announced today.
According to a government press release, the team of investigators will work closely with national law enforcement agencies and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to inspect unmanned aircraft that have been recovered from prisons in a bid to identify and track down those involved in attempts to smuggle in contraband.
“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,” says 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 adds.
The government says this announcement comes after the longest sentence of this type was handed down on March 31: A joint operation between police and prison officers led to the arrest of Remo White-Channer and Romaine Gayle. The two were jailed for six years and six months and four years and four months, respectively, for attempting to flood prisons across Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Kent with contraband worth around 48,000 British pounds. As part of a crime group, they used drones to try to fly packages containing cannabis, spice and heroin, as well as phones, into three different prisons.