Police drones – the new investigation tool of choice

This week saw the news that Devon and Cornwall police will be launching the first ever 24-hour drone unit in the UK. Following a trial period starting in November last year the new permanent unit, in place from this summer, will be shared with Dorset and will be used to for locating missing persons to assisting in road traffic accidents.

The use of drones by forces is not new. Last April Sussex and Surrey police were granted £250,000 to invest in 4 new Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAVs”), able to fly at speeds of 30mph. They currently hold 5 Aeryon SkyRangers and have 40 qualified remote pilots to Civil Aviation Authority (“CAA”) standards.

Furthermore, as the CAA register shows, there are a number of other forces currently permitted to operate drones: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire; Devon Cornwall and Dorset; Essex; Gwent; Kent; the Met;

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