Police unit to tackle drones dropping drugs and phones into jails

A specialist unit has been set up in an attempt to stop drones dropping drugs and mobile phones into prisons. The new team will spearhead efforts to combat the problem of remote-controlled flying devices being used to get contraband into jails. There has been a sharp increase in incidents involving drones in recent years, with gadgets being detected in or around jails in England and Wales 33 times in 2015. This is up from two the year before - and in 2013 there were no recorded incidents. In November, the Ministry of Justice said there had been a "big increase" in the number of drone reports over the last year. The new squad of prison and police officers will work with law enforcement agencies and HM Prison and Probation Service to inspect drones that are recovered in a bid to identify those involved in attempts to smuggle in contraband. Investigators will bring together intelligence from across prisons and the police to pinpoint lines of inquiry, which will be passed to local forces and organised crime officers. he crackdown comes as the Government attempts to tackle rising levels of violence and self-harm behind bars. Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said: "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. "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."In one case recently drones were used as part of attempts to flood prisons with contraband worth around £48,000.