Rather than flying into the Bedford Prison the DJI Phantom 2 Vision actually crashed and got caught in the barbed wire of the prison walls.
The plan was thought to be to fly in at night, hover while an inmate got close, then drop the payload into the prison grounds. In reality the £900 drone along with its knife, phones and drugs payload was useless. The same drone is featured on a YouTube video carrying a weight of just over 600g.
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Drones have already been used to smuggle contraband into US and Canadian prisons but this is the first time an attempt has been made at a UK institution.
Sonya Minney, chief officer of the Bedford Guild House charity, which backs on to the prison, said: "Staff have recently covered up the cell windows that face outwards to prevent stuff being thrown in."
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision has a range of nearly half a mile so the people involved with the flight did not need to be near to the prison when carrying out the drop. Although perhaps they should have had a little more practise before making the attempt over the barbed wire.
Adam Bailey, of the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, said: "It's a pretty stupid way of trying to get stuff into a prison. A drone sounds like a swarm of bees and has flashing lights so you're likely to attract attention. You'd have to be very skilled to pull this off and these guys clearly weren't."