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Norfolk prison has issues with use of illegal drones, MP claims

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 12 July 2018

Wayland Prison 

Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Wayland Prison Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2015

A Norfolk MP has claimed one of the county’s prison is having issues with drones being used illegally and without permission.

Sir Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtSir Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Sir Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, made the statement about Wayland Prison, near Watton, in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

It came after MPs asked Rory Stewart, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Justice, what steps the government were taking to tackle the use of drones over prisons.

Mr Bellingham said: “Is he [Mr Stewart] aware of a particular issue in a number of prisons, including Wayland prison in Norfolk, where the drone flyers have been acting with impunity and have become ever more brazen in their conduct?”

Mr Stewart highlighted the need to tackle criminal gangs which organise the drones and ensure electronic jamming equipment and security in the form of nets and grilles were in place to reduce the use of drones.

He also said: “We have made a lot of progress on the issue. In prisons such as Liverpool, where the new grilles are coming in, and Chelmsford, where we have the new protective equipment in place, we can see that it is more and more difficult to get a drone into a prison.

“When the nets are working and the grilles are up, it is difficult to do.”

He added: “We are introducing sentences — in a recent case someone who flew a drone into a prison received a seven-year sentence.”

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