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Prisons: Drones

Volume 632: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2017

The organised criminals who use drones to smuggle drugs and phones are a major threat to the stability and safety of our prisons. We are taking decisive steps to tackle that threat through joint intelligence-led operations with law enforcement agencies to identify and disrupt the individuals involved.

What more can be done to harness the power of intelligence-led work to track drones, not just to stop them coming into prisons but to find the criminals who are seeking to use them to disrupt our prison system?

My hon. Friend is right to highlight the importance of not just stopping contraband coming into prisons, but stopping the organised crime networks that are behind that. The specialist staff in our regional and national intelligence teams are transforming the way in which we work with the police to that end. We have launched Operation Trenton, in which a specialist team of police and Prison Service investigators will work together to intercept drones and track down the criminals behind them. So far there have been at least 17 convictions related to drone activity, and those convicted are serving about 50 years in prison.