May 14, 2019

Northampton MBA graduate uses drones to tackle drug smuggling in UK prisons

An MBA graduate from the University of Northampton is using his drone business to try and tackle the rising issue of drug smuggling in UK prisons.

Richard Gill MBA – a technology entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Drone Defence­ – is hoping that his drone business will help stop drugs getting in to UK prisons. Richard’s prison drone technology, SkyFence – an electronic countermeasures system which prevents drones from flying into or close to a protected location ­– was praised in the House of Commons by UK Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart and has been given Government backing.

SkyFence has already been successfully deployed at Guernsey Prison and the demand for this technology to be installed in prisons across the UK is high due to the rising threat of drug smuggling through drones. Richard explains, “Drones are fantastic tools when used responsibly but, like many things, the technology can be abused to cause harm like smuggling contraband into prisons. Our SkyFence is an elegant solution to help protect prisons from illegal drone use. Our system in Guernsey is the first of its kind in the world and is in high demand. We are now working with Government to see how we can deploy it in the UK.”

Following the recent drone issues at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, Richard feels that his company and product are even more relevant. He explains, “Drone Defence has grown, in terms of status, revenue and technology. We have positioned ourselves as a thought leader, as well as a capability and equipment provider for a whole range of companies. We are in a very early stage market at the moment – so the major money isn’t being released on drones as yet by the bigger corporations. But we saw the drone incidents at Gatwick and Heathrow in late 2018, and that has definitely woken the main market up to the threats that can be posed and now more budget is being allocated to this technology.”

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Content added on 14th May 2019. 

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