Full-Time Flying Drone Squad

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The drones are helping in missing person searches, crime scene photography and responding to traffic collisions.

Two police forces in the South West have set up the UK’s first operational drone squad to fight crime.

Forces up and down the country have been trialing the use of the mini aircraft as a cheaper alternative to helicopters for a number of roles.

But now Devon and Cornwall Police and the Dorset force have combined to launch a unit which will eventually have 40 officers trained to fly the drones.

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At £2,000 each, compared with £800 an hour for a helicopter, it’s easy to see why police accountants like the DJI Inspire 1s drone option, but senior officers say the new unit will add flexibility and speed to a range of operations.

The head of the unit, Chief Superintendent Jim Nye, said: “Drones will aid officers as part of missing person searches; crime scene photography; responding to major road traffic collisions; coastal and woodland searches and to combat wildlife crime.

“Drones can even help police track and monitor suspects during a firearm or terrorist incident, as it will allow officers to gain vital information, quickly, safely, and allow us to respond effectively at the scene.”

The two forces have been monitoring the effectiveness of drones in a variety of scenarios and with heat-seeking cameras available they can be used both day and night. Continue reading about the flying drone unit.

Source: David Bowden, Senior News Correspondent Sky News


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