Drones offer a pretty effective ways to move goods, including the smuggling of drugs, phones and other contraband into prisons. So much so, that the UK has set up a specialist police squad to track down enterprising crime groups that use the aircraft for these kinds of nefarious purposes.

The move follows a series of convictions of drone pilots caught smuggling drugs such as cannabis and heroin, along with mobile phones, into prisons across the UK. The most recent incident saw two individuals convicted of trying to sneak £48,000 (US$60,000) worth of contraband into three different prisons and sentenced to more than six years each.

Rather than trying to physically intercept illegal drones in mid-air, like police in France and the Netherlands are looking to do with highly-trained birds of prey, the task force will focus on gathering intelligence. This means inspecting drones that have landed inside prisons and been retrieved by staff, and then working with local police and organized crime officers to track down the perpetrators behind the illegal flights.

"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," said Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah. "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."

Source: Government of the United Kingdom