If drones with packages are sighted over the prisons in North Rhine-Westphalia, one or the other prisoner may be happy – but the guards fear the presents, because they can potentially be very dangerous.

Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) – The number of drone sightings in and over the prisons in North Rhine-Westphalia has stagnated. By the end of November, the NRW Ministry of Justice counted eight approaches or overflights by drones, as a spokesman said when asked by the dpa.

Ten drone sightings at prisons were documented in the past year. The ministry did not provide details on the specific measures taken in the North Rhine-Westphalian prison to detect and defend against drones “for security reasons”.

In one case, a small package that may have been dropped by the drone was found during a subsequent check of the areas flown over. The ministry did not reveal what was in the package. It is feared that drugs, weapons, mobile phones or other prohibited items could get into the prisons with the drones and endanger security there.

North Rhine-Westphalia had spoken out in favor of the federal government working at European level for the legal implementation of so-called “hard geo-fencing”. This means that the manufacturers of drones are obliged to equip the devices with software that technically prevents the drones from flying in closed airspace. There is already an overflight ban for the prisons and their immediate vicinity.