+Comment Devon and Cornwall Police is launching its drone-equipped aerial surveillance team today.
The flying spy team was first established two years ago on a trial basis and has now been made a permanent unit within DC Police. Its remit is to provide the same sort of aerial surveillance that the force helicopter provided but at a cheaper cost.
The squad is equipped with six DJI Inspire 1 drones fitted with HD zoom cameras capable of beaming thermal imaging data back to ground-based cops. Its operators are all trained to Civil Aviation Authority standards.
DC Police hopes to have 40 trained operators and 18 drones on strength by the start of 2018, according to the BBC.
Each of the unmanned aerial vehicles costs around £2,000 each, according to the police.
“Drones will aid officers as part of missing person searches; crime scene photography; responding to major road traffic collisions; coastal and