UK prisons may start using eagles to take down drug-smuggling drones

Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah has said the UK could use a novel new method of stopping drones smuggling contraband into UK jails: Eagles.

The minister was asked during Justice Questions in the House of Commons how the drones could be intercepted, and said he was “keeping a close eye on what’s happening in Holland, where they’re using eagles to stop drones”.

The video below shows how the birds can be used to capture drones mid-flight:

Mr Gyimah said the use of drones to smuggle drugs and weapons into UK prisons was a “game-changer” that required an effective solution.

Dutch Police have recently carried out trials using highly-trained eagles to catch multi-rotor copters in mid-air and return to their handler.

The strategy was the result of a partnership between the Dutch National Police and Guard From Above, a company dedicated to training the birds of prey.

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Earlier this year, Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was “enthusiastic” about the initiative after being shown a video of the eagles in action.

At the time, A Met spokesperson said: “As would be expected in an organisation that is transforming, we take an interest in all innovative new ideas, and will of course be looking at the work of the Dutch police use of eagles.”

Whether we’ll see the strategy being used in any capacity in the UK remains unclear at this point, but it certainly looks like a possibility.

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