Drones join the front line

The tri-force alliance of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire has trained 16 officers to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones as they are more commonly known, after a successful nine-month trial of the devices.
The forces have purchased four drones, which cost from £1,000 to £1,200 each, and can reach speeds of up to 36mph and be flown up to a height of 400ft and in winds of up to 25mph.

Sep 21, 2016
By Paul Jacques

The tri-force alliance of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire has trained 16 officers to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones as they are more commonly known, after a successful nine-month trial of the devices.

The forces have purchased four drones, which cost from £1,000 to £1,200 each, and can reach speeds of up to 36mph and be flown up to a height of 400ft and in winds of up to 25mph.

The trained pilots include roads policing and armed policing officers.

The alliance says the drones will be used to support operations and investigations, and to help ensure the safety of the public. The drones, which have the ability to capture high-definition video and take high-resolution photographs, can assist in the search for missing people, document crime scenes and chemical incidents, and support fatal and serious collision investigations.

Inspector Mark Farrant from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Joint Protective Services said: “Exploring the efficiencies of new technology is key to helping us face the challenges of modern policing. The drones give us greater scope to capture evidence in real-time, supporting our ultimate aim of protecting the public and fighting crime.

“Following the trial, in which the devices assisted at the scenes of collisions and in police training, we anticipate this new resource contributing hugely to the work of the three forces – not to mention the obvious benefits to officer and public safety.”

During its operational concept phase, the drone has so far been used at a number of incidents across the three counties, including a serious road traffic collision on the A421 in Kempston during July and providing area security surveillance during the Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Luton on August 24.

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