When it comes to locating missing people and taking crime scene photographs, UK police forces have identified multiple benefits to drone surveillance. So much so, that after an 18-month trial, Devon and Cornwall Police have now established a drone response unit, to work across 9 police centres in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.
They’ve trialled a small number of DJI Inspire 1 drones, which come equipped with high-definition cameras to suit their surveillance purpose. The trial, which began in November 2015, is one of a number that have been taking place throughout the country. According to the Daily Mail, there are up to 21 police forces experimenting with UAV technology.
Drones On The Beat
The National Police Chiefs Council’s lead for drones, Steve Barry, explained that the police force was “committed to embracing new technologies to deliver high-quality, cost- effective services and protection to the public […] They have the potential to change the way we police by working with other technologies and updating traditional methods of foot and aerial patrols.”
Commons Call For Quadcopters
Drones’ capacity to fly where police are otherwise unable to access is the reason why many are recognising them as a vital asset to police work, in both urban and rural areas. A parliamentary debate recently shed light on another specific use of drones in policing. Labour MP Nick Smith recently suggested that UAVs could be utilised to track and monitor a number of off-road cyclists who are ‘vandalising’ the mountains of Wales.