VIDEO: Prison fence drone detection system is security world first

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A WORLD-FIRST in security technology is being introduced at Les Nicolles Prison, as equipment that can detect and send away drones is being installed.

The Sky Fence system, a creation of UK companies Eclipse Digital Solutions and Drone Defence, will exclude all drones from travelling into and over the prison fence to prevent any illegal items, such as drugs, weapons and mobile phones, from being dropped into the grounds.

While it is not known whether drones have been used to get items into Guernsey Prison previously, it has become a well-known problem for many UK prisons.

This week, a man was charged for using drones to smuggle cannabis, steroids and mobile phones into HMP Birmingham prison.

The new system forms parts of Home Affairs security upgrades – a £1.7m. project that also includes new cameras, a new lighting system and new alarms.

At first, just a drone detection system was going to be installed, but at no extra cost the project contractor has introduced the additional Sky Fence system.

The security upgrades have met with criticism, however, with the Scrutiny Management Committee pledging to probe Home Affairs' decision to drop the idea to build a second perimeter fence, which would have meant Les Nicolles met UK guidelines to house category B prisoners.

But prison governor David Matthews said he was satisfied that the upgrades and new technology made the prison secure.

The new systems and Sky Fence were a great investment, he said.

'I would have been even more pleased with a double fence, but there is a recognition that there has got to be a compromise.'

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