Drone carrying drugs found in prison grounds at HMP Manchester

image copyrightRobert Wade/Geograph
image captionHMP Manchester is a high security prison, which houses around 1,200 inmates

A drone being used to smuggle contraband into the grounds of a prison has been recovered by guards, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has said.

It is thought to have been flown in from outside HMP Manchester, formerly known as Strangeways, on Friday before being "successfully intercepted".

Police believe it was carrying mobile phones, SIM cards and drugs.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "All contraband was seized and handed to the police to investigate".

"Incidents involving drones are rare, but we remain constantly vigilant to all new threats to prison security," he added.

"We are strengthening our powers to ensure those found using drones to smuggle material into prison are punished."

Anyone convicted of the offence faces a prison sentence of up to two years.

Further inquiries are expected to be carried out later, said a police spokesman.

The MoJ reported nine attempts to use drones to infiltrate prisons in England and Wales in the first five months of 2015 - among them was a drone carrying mobile phones and drugs into Bedford Prison which was caught by prison officers.

It is already a criminal offence to throw drugs and other items over a prison wall.

HMP Manchester is a high security prison, which houses around 1,200 inmates.

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