Remote-controlled helicopter drones are being flown over prisons in Canada to drop drugs and other contraband into the grounds for inmates.

Helicopter drones being flown over prisons to deliver drugs.
Remote-controlled helicopter drones are being flown over prisons in Quebec to deliver contraband to inmates. (Reuters)

Hull jail in the city of Gatineau in Quebec is having to tighten its security after a small helicopter drone flew over prison walls last weekend.

Prison guards searched the grounds and local area thoroughly but failed to find the package that the drone might have been carrying or to see where the drone landed.

Stephane Lemaire, president of Quebec's correctional officers' union, told the Ottawa Sun that this was not an isolated incident  and the situation is becoming frustrating:

"This sort of thing happens often in prisons all across Quebec. Usually the drones are carrying small packages of drugs or other illicit substances," he said.

"The problem is, the drone can be controlled from more than a kilometre away, and the [Hull] prison is surrounded by forest."

Boost security

Lemaire is urging the government to help boost security in Quebec's prisons by supplying either a net or a jammer to disrupt the signal from the drone to the remote-control.

In related news in the US, four men in Georgia were arrested this week for trying to drop packages of tobacco to prisoners at the Calhoun State Prison using a remote-controlled helicopter.

A prison lieutenant spotted the helicopter hovering over the gates and a search of the local area ensued.

An hour later, the police became suspicious of a car with license plates from another county many miles away.

Smuggle

Sheriff Josh Hilton told Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta: "After we gained consent to search the car we found the helicopter and I don't know exactly how much it was but probably about 1 to 2 pounds of tobacco rolled up."

Hilton added that this was the first time he had ever seen a helicopter being used to try to smuggle contraband into a prison.

In the US, attempting to cross prison guard lines with contraband is a felony and carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.