Prison service aware of “potential threat” of drones

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PRISON chiefs are investigating the “potential threat” of drones being used to smuggle contraband into Scottish jails.

Remote-controlled drones are a low-cost way of transporting goods, and are increasingly being used to get around prison security measures.

In England alone prison bosses have intercepted seven plots to use drones over a four month period – a stark rise on the two incidents recorded in 2014.

Now experts are calling on Scottish authorities to consider investing in technology to prevent the problem spreading north of the border.

One such development which could hinder the ability of crooks to use drones is a jammer, which would break the connection between the remote control and the drone.

The countermeasure is currently being developed by a UK consortium.

Marin Brook, of Brighter Surveillance, one of the companies involved in the consortium, said: “When you have drones flying over the White House or a political rally, you do not need to be too imaginative to realise that they can be used maliciously to smuggle drugs, phones and weapons into prisons.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice warned: “Anyone using drones in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years.”

And a spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) added; “ We are currently aware of the potential for drones to be used illegally and discussions are on-going as to the potential threat.”

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