Operation Airborne, nets one drug drone

Over the weekend of Friday, 12 to Sunday, 14 August, officers from the Caledonian Neighbourhoods Policing Team and the Met’s Special Constabulary carried out patrols in the area of the prison as part of Operation Airborne.

Operation Airborne has been set up to deter and catch offenders attempting to deliver contraband into prisons.

During the early hours of Saturday, 13 August, officers observed a man acting suspiciously close to the prison. On seeing police, he ran from the scene, dropping two bags containing a quantity of Class B drugs and mobile phones. He evaded arrest.

The following day, officers recovered a drone after tracking it flying over HMP Pentonville, before it crashed. Later in the day, they were alerted to another drone being flown towards the prison. The low flying drone was stopped mid-flight by an officer and a package containing a large quantity of drugs and two mobile phones was recovered from it.

The police don’t say how they stopped the drone, we can only assume it was very low and he caught it or that they are testing some sort of anti-drone device. The drone was a DJI Phantom 4 available from the Apple store for £1,169.00. Interesting that they kept the camera fitted. One wonders if they were using it to visually guide it to the person that must have had to empty the bag of bounty.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Heatley, said: “These recovered drones carried a substantial amount of Class B drugs, legal highs and a large quantity of mobile phones; we are able to intercept them thanks to the vigilance of officers and the public. We work closely with the prison service to gather intelligence in order to carry out proactive operations to arrest and prosecute such offenders. I would urge anyone with information about these events to contact the police or Crimestoppers to help us to identify those responsible.”

Last month Acacia Smith, 25, from Acton, West London died instantly at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. She was in a car being driven by her boyfriend Craig Kearney also 25. The pair were believed to have been undertaking drone deliveries into Wandsworth Prison. They were fleeing the scene having been detected.

 

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Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.