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Prisons: Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 33806, tabled on 13 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many incidents involving the use of drone technology have been recorded at each type of prison facility in each of the last three years.

Answered on

18 April 2016

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to PQ 20357.

Incidents involving drones are rare, but we remain constantly vigilant to all new threats to prison security. This Government has made it a criminal offence to throw, or otherwise project, any article of substance into prison without authorisation. Anyone using drones in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years. We take a zero tolerance approach to illicit material in prisons and work closely with the police and CPS to ensure those responsible for a drone incident are caught and, if appropriate, prosecuted.

There were no reported drone incidents in 2013; 2 reported incidents in 2014; and 33 reported incidents in 2015.

These figures include drone finds and sightings of drones by prison staff in and around all types of public and private prisons in England and Wales.

These figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

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