Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a drone and the Ministry of Justice has formed a specialist hit squad to tackle the threat they pose to prison security.

Six months after justice secretary Liz Truss suggested barking dogs ‘deter’ drones from flying drugs into prisons, the bods at 102 Petty France have come up with a more orthodox anti-drone solution.

A team of investigators will work closely with national law enforcement agencies and HM Prison and Probation Service to inspect recovered drones in a bid to identify and track down those involved in smuggling contraband, such as drugs and mobile phones, into prisons.

Prisons minister Sam Gyimah said: ‘The threat posed by drones is clear, but our dedicated staff are committed to winning the fight against those who are attempting to thwart progress by wreaking havoc in establishments all over the country.

‘My message to those who involve themselves in this type of criminal activity is clear; we will find you and put you behind bars.’

The announcement follows the recent successful convictions of several offenders, including two who were jailed for six years and six months and four years and four months respectively after attempting to flood prisons across Hertfordshire, Suffolk, and Kent with contraband worth around £48,000.

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