UK prison moves to stop drone deliveries of contraband

May 16, 2017

A British prison will install anti-drone technology to stop contraband being smuggled through the skies, the jail's governor told AFP on Tuesday.

The Channel Island of Guernsey is installing an "invisible dome" above its prison to stop mobile phones, drugs and weapons being smuggled in, David Matthews said.

"Many prison governors are struggling with the drones. The problem is you never know you have a until one crashes, so you don't know how many successful deliveries you had," he told AFP.

The new SkyFence system will be rolled out ready for action by the end of July.

It will be the first time the new technology is to be deployed, according to Drone Defence founder, Richard Gill, whose company created the system.

Gill said SkyFence detects a drone and then activates a disruptive electronic fence which covers the whole of the prison like a dome.

"The fence disrupts the command video signals that the drone sends to its operator on the ground. The operator sees a blank screen and can no longer fly or control the drone," he told AFP.

Depending on the size of the site, the system costs between £100,000 ($129,000, 117,000 euros) and £250,000.

Last month the British government announced the creation of a new team to tackle drones flying into prisons, comprising prison and police officers.

There have been a number of drone-related convictions, with two men jailed on Tuesday for flying cocaine, cannabis and mobile phones into The Mount north-west of London.

Explore further: UK investigating reported near-miss between drone and plane

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