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​Ban on use of drones above prisons

Published date: Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The NSW Government is tightening security at the state’s prisons with a ban on the use of drones above prisons and juvenile detention centres.

More than 60 drones have been sighted or discovered in and around prisons since January 2014, highlighting their potential use for inappropriate and illegal purposes.

Drones can drop contraband inside the walls of a prison, block security cameras and take pictures or videos of the prison layout.

The NSW Parliament last night passed a Bill amending the Crimes (Administration Sentences) Act 1999, the Children (Detention Centres Act) 1987 and associated regulations.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the amendment makes it clear it is a criminal offence to possess or fly a drone at a prison or juvenile centre without permission.

“NSW faces security challenges that continue to evolve, particularly in response to new technologies,” Mr Elliott said.

“This amendment will ensure anyone caught in possession of a drone or attempting to fly one above or near a correctional centre or juvenile centre can be charged and jailed for a maximum two years.”

The new powers to tackle the use of drones will bolster the efforts of Corrective Services officers to remove contraband from the prison system. It is in addition to phone jamming technology, scanning technology and increased cell searches.

Corrective Services NSW will continue to investigate new technologies and develop strategies to prevent contraband from entering the prison system.