Skip to main content

Prisons: Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 56823, tabled on 8 December 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

13 December 2016

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to PQ 33806.

There were 2 reported incidents in 2014 and 33 reported incidents in 2015. The Ministry of Justice intends to routinely publish information on prison drone incidents in the future and 2016 data will be provided in due course.

We remain vigilant to all incidents involving drones and take the threat they pose to prison security very seriously. A range of methods to counter the threat posed by drones are being trialled and evaluated for their effectiveness across the prison estate. We have already introduced new legislation to further strengthen our powers, making it illegal to land a drone in prison or to use a drone to drop in contraband. Anyone found using a drone in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years imprisonment. We take a zero tolerance approach to smuggling of contraband into prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to ensure those caught are prosecuted.

Note: All 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.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.