The Prison Service and police are to pool intelligence to stop drones flying drugs and mobile phones to prison inmates in England and Wales.

They will forensically examine captured drones to try to find out who was flying them.

The invention of easy-to-fly, remote-controlled aircraft has caused a huge security headache for prisons.

The national initiative will see police and prison officers share information about the quadcopters and methods used.

Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah said: "We are absolutely determined to tackle the illegal flow of drugs and mobile phones into our prisons and turn them into places of safety and reform.

"The threat posed by drones is clear but our dedicated staff are committed to winning the fight against those who are attempting to thwart progress by wreaking havoc in establishments all over the country.

"My message to those who involve themselves in this type of criminal activity is clear: we will find you and put you behind bars."

Recent successes

The Prison Service could not give details about how many officers would be involved, or how big the budget for the project is.

BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford says prison walls are now not much of a barrier for those wanting to smuggle contraband into jails.

There have been some recent successes in finding and punishing those who are behind the drone flights, says the Ministry of Justice.

In December, Dean Rawley-Bell, 21, was jailed for four years and eight months after he used a drone in attempts to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into Manchester Prison.

Renelle Carlisle, 23, was sentenced to three years and four months in October after he was caught outside Risley Prison in Warrington with a drone in his bag, trying to smuggle drugs inside.

In July, 37-year-old Daniel Kelly was jailed for 14 months for trying to supply contraband to offenders in Elmley and Swaleside Prison in Sheppey, Wandsworth
Prison in London and the Mount Prison in Hemel Hempstead.

Drones flying into prisons to be examined by new police team - BBC News