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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 34438, tabled on 18 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been convicted for an offence relating to a use of a drone; and what the average sentence is for such an offence.

Answered on

26 April 2016

The number of offenders found guilty of offences relating to flying a drone, under S 160 of the Air Navigation Order 2009, in England and Wales, in 2014, is two. Each offender was sentenced to a fine.

Please note that this figure relates to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

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.