Drug drones: London police are cracking down on UAVs delivering illegal substances to prisoners

Drug droneMet PoliceA drone next to a bag.

Police are cracking down on criminals using drones to smuggle drugs and smartphones into prisons after three incidents were recorded in quick succession.

London Metropolitan Police have formed a drone patrol unit known as Operation Airborne to catch the smugglers.

Earlier this month, officers observed a man acting suspiciously close to London’s Pentonville Prison, according to a statement issued by the London Metropolitan Police service on Monday.

He ran away after seeing the police but he dropped two bags containing an unspecified quantity of Class B drugs and mobile phones, police said.

Two other drones have been spotted by Pentonville prison, according to police. One crashed, while the other — containing a large quantity of drugs and two mobile phones — was stopped mid-flight by an officer.

Detective chief inspector Steve Heatley said in a statement: “These recovered drones carried a substantial amount of Class B drugs, legal highs and a large quantity of mobile phones; we are able to intercept them thanks to the vigilance of officers and the public.

“We work closely with the prison service to gather intelligence in order to carry out proactive operations to arrest and prosecute such offenders.”

No one has been arrested in connected with the three incidents.

This isn’t the first time that drones have been used illegally. Indeed, The Independent reported that drone complaints to UK police soared 352% in a year. Some people have used them to spy on people, while others have flown them dangerously close to commercial airliners.

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