Watch a Prisoner Reach Out His Window to Catch a Drug-Smuggling Drone

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

You can stuff a dead bird with drugs and hit it over a prison wall with a tennis racket. Or you can just fly contraband into a prisoner's window with a drone. 

Both of these are happening at prisons in England and Wales, according to the BBC, which caught footage of a drone delivering drugs and mobile phones to prisoners in April. 

A Wandsworth inmate, referred to as "S" for anonymity, said that Amazon "don't need to do a pilot" — referring to the online retailer's future drone delivery service — because it's been done at the prison. "It happens nightly," S said, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. 

S said that drones are flown through holes in the prison netting and then pulled in by prisoners' windows with a broom handle, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. After a net blew down in a storm and wasn't immediately replaced, "It was open season," S said, Drones were "stacking up like they were landing at Heathrow." 

Source: YouTube

In the exclusive footage obtained by BBC, you can see a drone outside of a prisoner's window at Wandsworth — the largest prison in the U.K., which can currently hold 1,877 prisoners. The prisoner is seen holding a stick outside the window until the bag of goods flies within its reach. It's then pulled inside. 

Source: YouTube

"It's 'up a bit, left a bit," then they pull it in with a broom handle," said S, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. On his side of the prison, S said, this type of thing happened a few times each night. 

Source: YouTube

This aligns with reports from the BBC, which state that the number of banned items smuggled into prisons in England and Wales "has more than doubled in the last two years." These items are primarily drugs, mobile phones and weapons. 

When prisoners aren't smuggling in goods with drones, they are hiding phones and drugs in juice cartons, tennis balls and shampoo bottles and throwing them over the wall, as well as putting drugs into dead birds and then hitting them over with tennis racquets, BBC reported.

"They get thrown over the wall," an anonymous former prisoner told the BBC. "If you go to any prison, walk the circumference of the prison, I guarantee you, you will see things hanging in the wires, there will be a parcel of phones hanging in the razor wire."

Executive governor at HMP Wandsworth Ian Bickers recently met with Chief Superintendent of the Wandsworth Borough Police on how to deal with drones and staff corruption. "There's things we can do together," Bickers tweeted. When asked if prisons will implement no-fly zones over the estates or use air traffic control services and/or the Ministry of Defense to help with enforcement, Bickers tweeted "it's a national problem requiring a joined up solution."

We reached out to Wandsworth Prison and will update with any comment. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Melanie Ehrenkranz

Melanie is a writer covering technology and the future. She can be reached at melanie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

American Health Care Act by the numbers: What to know about Senate Republicans' secret health plan

After drafting the ACA repeal and replace plan behind closed doors, the AHCA is out — and Senate Republican leaders are hoping to vote on it in a week.