Ministry sounds out market on options for fighting criminal drone drops into prisons
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has begun to look for a digital system to support the specialist squad of prison and police officers formed to tackle the threat from drones entering prisons.
It has published a prior information notice on behalf of HM Prison and Probation Service, sounding out IT suppliers on the options for supporting the team.
The MoJ is currently being tight lipped about the details of its thinking, citing security reasons, but the notice does indicate that the estimated value of any deal would be in the region of £7 million.
The team of investigators was set up in April and charged with working with national law enforcement agencies and the prison service to inspect drones recovered from prisons, aiming to track down the criminals using the technology to smuggle in drugs and mobile phones. This has been a growing problem for the Prison Service over the past couple of years.
At the time, 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.”
The MoJ also established a £3 million intelligence hub to tackle gang crime behind bars.
Image by Henrique Boney, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons