Ministry of Justice
– cracking down on drones delivering contraband to UK prisons
In 2015, nearly 17,000 mobile phones and SIM cards were found smuggled in to prisons. An increase from only 7,000 in 2014. The Ministry of Justice are facing new security challenges, whereby contraband items, such as phones, SIM cards and weapons are now being dropped in to prisons via drones.
Because of this, the Ministry Of Justice are urging technology companies to design a solution which will combat this problem.
Recent advances in drone technology have presented a greater increase over the last year in the number of reported drone incidents. The use of drones as a means of smuggling items in to prisons is still not as common as people throwing items over the prison’s walls. However, there is potential for drones to cause great harm, both to prisoners and the prison staff, which is why the Ministry Of Justice are keen to proactively combat this threat.
Increased prison security against drones – what’s the plan?
The MoJ have commissioned a new project, in collaboration with industry and other government agencies, to find ways of detecting and blocking drones at a number of prison sites.
Within a white paper entitled “Prison Safety & Reform” the MoJ have pledged to:
- Trial a new setup, whereby the majority of drones will already be pre-programmed to avoid any prison location coordinates.
- Work with other government agencies to trial detection equipment. This will assess products from several dozen companies and any promising technology will be piloted.
- Work across government and with the manufacturers to look at technological legislative means to reduce the threat