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Police use of drones

06 Jan 2016

A number of forces are conducting trials to assess whether the use of drones can bring benefits to the provision of the police service. Any use would need to comply with existing Civil Aviation Authority Regulations.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Unmanned Aerial Systems Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said:

“Some police forces in the UK are looking into the use of drones to see if they are an effective and less costly alternative to traditional policing methods; such as aerial and foot patrols or CCTV. Trials are ongoing and the police service is developing national guidance for the use of drones. Their operation is governed by Civil Aviation Authority regulations, as well as local restrictions concerning the use of drones at airports, major road networks and sea ports. 

“We are working with the Home Office on how drones might be used to enhance operational capability in law enforcement and counter terrorist work, including for support for emergency response or for public order events. However, this is ultimately an operational matter for Chief Constables and any use would need to comply with existing Civil Aviation Authority regulations.”