Saturday 26 September 2015

Drones Operated by Criminal Gangs Used to Deliver Drugs Mobile Phones and Potentially Firearms to Prisoners


Operating Drones – Threat to Security

According to officials, crime gangs are posing as increasing threat to security in Britain’s prison by operating drones and providing new options of smuggling drugs and other probably firearms in the hands of criminals.Commercial small drones are being utilised to pick up packages comprising of illicit items from mobile phone to synthetic drugs in jails which tends to threaten the security by making the intoxicants available that could aggravate and cause disorder in prison cells.

The intelligence officers at the National Offender Management Services – NOMS have shown that they are also disturbed at the prospect of using remote-controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – UAVs to drop lethal weapons in jails after a package of the same size and weight of a gun had been dropped successfully unobserved in an unnamed totally secured prison at the time of covert testing earlier this year.

On investigation it was recommended that many incidents with the help of drones to overfly prisons, delivering packages in the last few months had been linked to serious crime groups. The outcome of it has governors now gearing themselves for security breaches by UAVs in being more recurrent issues over 150 prisons in Britain.

Drones – Cheap & Easy to Use

According to NOMS, the number of attempts to intrude the prisons with the use of four or six drones is generally available through online or high street retailer though small,l is on the rise. Within a span of five months to May this year, nine incidents have been identified in England and Wales when compared to four for the total of 2014.

 Analysts from NOMS gave a briefing at the Defence and Security Equipment International show in London describing drone use as an emerging threat causing a UAV technology, as cheap and easy to use. A senior analyst at the NOMS unit, Eve Richard stated that `in a nutshell, the intelligence recommend that the use of UAVs to release items into the prisons is an emerging threat and it is not a huge issue presently but there could be potential for the same to increase and become more problematic’.

He added that all the prisons could be vulnerable and it does not seem to matter where they could be but it does matter what kind of prisoners they tend to have and in what type of security category they may be.

Three Month Study of UAV Risks

Every space could be vulnerable since it is air space and as long as one can get a UAV over the wall they could be vulnerable. A UAV which is refined and capable of being accurately manoeuvred with the use of GPS technology and move a payload of over 1.5 kg could be bought for less than £1,000 and flown away with the minimum training.

A recent attempt where drones had been used to breach security had been made in March to fly a UAV into Bedford Prison along with a package comprising of mobile phones and drugs. However the aircraft got entangled in barbed wire after it seemed to have been destabilised by its cargo. NOMS has stated that as a part of a three month study of UAV risks, it had carried out a test flight of a drone over maximum security prison.

The drone achieved to fly over the prison and drop packages which were the same size and weight to a handgun prior to withdrawing unobserved by any one on duty. Mr Richard had commented that they had no intelligence that drones were being utilised for trafficking weapons but can now recognise that the possibility is there’.

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