Drones are increasingly being used to smuggle mobile phones and drugs into prison.
There were 33 cases recorded of drones attempting to breach prison security last year, up from just two cases in 2014 – a 1,550% increase.
In 2013 there were no reported instances of drones in or around prison grounds.
As well phones, illegal drugs and legal highs, chargers and USB drives have been recovered from drones in prisons, according to data provided to PA after a Freedom of Information request.
HMP Onley in Northamptonshire was the worst affected by drones, reporting four incidents between 2014 and 2015, followed by Leicester, Ranby and Swansea prisons, with three each.
HMP Wandsworth, Bedford and Manchester each reported two drone incidents.
The largest stash found on a drone was at HMP Oakwood, near Wolverhampton, and included a phone, a charger, USB cards and drugs.
These figures include drone sightings in or around a prison, when it is unclear whether the unmanned craft was used for illegal activity.
“Incidents involving drones are rare, but we remain constantly vigilant to all new threats to prison security,” the Ministry of Justice said.
“We have introduced new legislation to further strengthen our powers, making it illegal to land a drone in prison or to use a drone to drop in psychoactive substances.
“Anyone found using drones in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years.”
A report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons in December highlighted a number of creative ways drugs have been smuggled into prisons: thrown over prison walls in a tennis ball, packages fired by catapults, and dropped in from drones.
The report said that “easy access to illicit mobile telephones makes it possible to plan the drops carefully.”
Earlier this year, it was reported the Metropolitan Police could train eagles to take out drones operated by criminals.