A 20-year-old woman died and a man was left critically injured following a 120 mph (190 kph) police chase, after a drone was spotted near Wandsworth Prison in south London during the early hours of Tuesday morning (9 August).
Police arrived at the prison at around 3am and began to follow a car which crashed into a wall at around 3.10am in Ashcombe Street, next to the junction of Wandsworth Bridge Road. The woman passenger was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver, a male in his twenties, is in a critical condition.
Witness Milly Lord, 77, told ITV News: "It was about just before three this morning. The bang was unbelievable - it really made me shook up. I could hear the guy's screaming out in the car. He was crying as if he was in pain. I imagine he was the driver. Eventually they took away a body bag."
Among the flowers left at the scene of the crash one message read: "Rest in eternal peace Princess Kaysha." The woman has not been formally identified and her family are being notified. The male remains in hospital. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the incident.
An IPCC spokesman said: "The Metropolitan police referred the matter to the IPCC because a police vehicle was following the car involved in the collision immediately prior to the incident. IPCC investigators attended the scene and also the post-incident procedures where the officers involved are providing their accounts. The investigation is in its early stages."
An HM Prison Service spokeswoman said: "On Tuesday 9 August, staff at HMP Wandsworth alerted the Metropolitan police to a drone flying in close proximity to the prison, as is standard practice. Police investigations are now under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further." (Guardian).
There is increasing concerns that drones have been used to smuggle drugs, phones and other contraband into prisons. HMP Wandsworth previously released footage showing a drone delivering a bag to the prison, thought to contain drugs and mobile phones.
On Monday 8 August The Independent reported that crimes involving drones have risen by 352 per cent in the last year, and have been blamed for near-misses with aircraft, with filming children in school playgrounds, and for delivering drugs.
In Northern Ireland it was reported a drone was used to film people inputting PINs at cash machines, though the case was dropped through lack of evidence.