A man has been charged after a drone carrying drugs and mobile phones was found crashed at a prison.

Police said they launched an investigation after the drone was discovered by prison staff at Islington's HMP Pentonville in August last year.

Drugs including cannabis, prescription medicine Pregabalin – which is used to treat epilepsy and anxiety, but is sometimes used recreationally – and the synthetic cannabis ‘spice’ were found inside.

Detectives have linked the drone to another that also crashed into a prison, at HMP Coldingley, Surrey, a month earlier. Drugs and a phone were also recovered from that drone.

Police have also linked the incident to three other crashed drones containing drugs and phones.

These were found at HMP Pentonville in September last year, at HMP High Down, Surrey, in November and at HMP Swaleside, Kent, in January this year.

A man has now been charged with using a drone to smuggle drugs and phones into prison.

Detective Inspector Zara Baker said: “Smuggling drugs into prison is a serious crime.

“Illegal drugs massively increase the risk of violence towards staff and other inmates and ruins rehabilitation.

“As the public would expect, we are disrupting the supply of illegal drugs and have a number of methods to crack down on those who try and break the law.

“Anyone with information about those who profit from the misery caused by illegal drugs is asked to contact police or Crimestoppers.”