At­tempts to fly con­tra­band into prison foiled

Call for HMP Perth bosses to for­mu­late plan to deal with drones

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Paulre­och pre­och@the­courier.co.uk

Au­thor­i­ties have foiled two at­tempts in a week to breach se­cu­rity at Perth Prison by drone-fly­ing crim­i­nals try­ing to smug­gle in il­licit items.

Of­fi­cers thwarted at­tempts on Septem­ber 22 and 25 when prison staff alerted Po­lice Scot­land af­ter spot­ting the drones be­ing flown into prison grounds. Of­fi­cers are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing their con­tents and it is un­der­stood they con­tained pro­hib­ited items.

A spokesper­son for the Scot­tish Prison Ser­vice con­firmed they were aware of the lat­est drone in­ci­dents.

“The po­lice took both drones away so they are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing what was con­tained in them,” he said.

“How­ever, we have had is­sues with drones at Perth Prison be­fore on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions. These haven’t taken place fre­quently but they have con­sisted of at­tempts to in­tro­duce con­tra­band into the prison.

“We work with our part­ners to de­tect the in­tro­duc­tion of such con­tra­band and this in­cludes the sup­port of the neigh­bour­ing com­mu­nity us­ing schemes like Prison Watch, where res­i­dents no­tify the prison au­thor­i­ties if they see any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity in the area.

“This has al­ready led to a num­ber of con­vic­tions for peo­ple try­ing to in­tro­duce con­tra­band into pris­ons.”

Chief In­spec­tor Ian Scott, area com­man­der for Perth and Kin­ross, said po­lice couldn’t re­veal what was con­tained in the drones, but con­ceded of­fi­cers are aware of at­tempts to in­tro­duce con­trolled drugs and mo­bile phones into the prison.

These re­cent in­ci­dents fol­low an at­tempt last year in which a drone des­tined for the prison was re­cov­ered in a res­i­dent’s gar­den.

It con­tained a host of items in­clud­ing di­amor­phine, cannabis, mo­bile phones, su­per­glue and USB ca­bles.

“To some ex­tent this is a re­sult of the proac­tive part­ner­ship work­ing car­ried out be­tween the Scot­tish Prison Ser­vice and Po­lice Scot­land to re­duce the avail­abil­ity of such items,” Chief In­spec­tor Ian Scott added.

“On Septem­ber 22 and 25, drones were flown into HMP Perth in an at­tempt to de­liver pro­hib­ited items.”

Liz Smith, Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive for Mid Scot­land and Fife said Perth Prison “must come up with a plan” for deal­ing with drones.

“I would hope that this lat­est in­ci­dent acts as a se­ri­ous wake-up call to the au­thor­i­ties as drugs fall­ing into sur­round­ing gar­dens or streets could end up in the hands of chil­dren. Crim­i­nals are us­ing in­creas­ingly high­tech means of break­ing the law and the au­thor­i­ties have to be up to the chal­lenge.”

Crim­i­nals at­tempted to fly items into prison us­ing drones.

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