Prisons: Unmanned Air Vehicles

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 24th November 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to amend the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 to enable drone jamming technology to be used in prisons in England and Wales.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister for Afghan resettlement

The Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Act 2021 gave HMPPS new powers to authorise the use of counter-drone technology, such as electronic radio frequency jamming devices that interfere with property or wireless telegraphy. Jamming’ technology is a valuable tool in our security response to tackle the threat of drones to our prisons. We also deploy drone detection equipment in our prisons.

We are working hard to deter, detect and disrupt the illegal use of drones. We conduct assessments across the prison estate to understand risk and implement targeted countermeasures such as improved cell windows that make it harder for items to be smuggled in, netting to stop drones from entering prisons, as well as tech-based solutions.

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