Drones and Prisons - An Emerging Risk
Prisons are all about security and recent incidents involving drones highlight an emerging security risk for prison operators. Tennis balls and other packaged items thrown over walls are being replaced with more sophisticated delivery methods for contraband!
In Victoria and other Australian jurisdictions, the use of drones to drop drugs, weapons and phones has increased. Two recent incidents were detected by prison officials at Victoria's Barwon and Port Phillip prisons. Buprenorphine, ice, heroin, mobile phones, security tools and blades were seized.
The Victorian Government banned the use of drones near prisons two years ago. In both the recent cases technology was helping augment perimeter patrols, CCTV and intelligence-gathering in the fight against aerial smuggling missions.
Security leaders at correctional environments must remain aware of this emerging risk. Trends to combat this risk in the USA include integration of DroneShield and similar products into prison zone-based alarm systems to achieve consistent, complete monitoring of their perimeters, airspace and centralised facilities. These products provide alerts to give advanced warning of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) activity and can be configured to automatically disrupt UAV that enter a specified perimeter.