Higher-spec drone takes to the skies in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire Constabulary has boosted its ability to find missing persons, photograph crime scenes and monitor major incidents after upgrading to a higher-spec drone.

Jun 11, 2021
By Tony Thompson
Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Chief Fire Officer Darryl Keen.

Purchased jointly between the force and the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, the new Sky Mantis can fly in any weather for an hour, reach an altitude of 100m and be operated from 400m away. It is equipped with two HD 30X zoom cameras, which also have thermal imaging capabilities.

The model is an upgrade on the current drone, which has been credited with saving several lives during searches for vulnerable people. It can search an area seven times quicker than officers on foot. It can also be used in conditions where it is unsafe for helicopters or crews to go.

Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “This new drone is another example of how closer collaboration between police and fire and rescue services can deliver benefits and keep the people of Hertfordshire safer.

“There are clear benefits of closer integration between our blue light services and we have established a strong partnership with Hertfordshire County Council to continue to make this ambitions programme happen.”

Chief Constable Charlie Hall added: “The capacity of this new drone is very impressive and it promises to be an invaluable asset to those colleagues working on the ground.

“As technology continues to improve, drones are becoming an increasingly important asset to policing, for example assisting missing person searches or aerial photography of crime scenes. My thanks to everyone involved in getting this latest drone up and airborne.”

Chief fire officer at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Darryl Keen, said: “The fire service will use this drone to give incident commanders an overview of the scene they are attending. Having an aerial view of a fire scene can help us gauge the size of the emergency, help us decide whether we need more firefighters to support our response, as well as assisting in identifying what tactics to use to tackle the incident.

“Firefighters at Potters Bar have specialist training to operate the new drone, and as part of an agreement between the county council and the constabulary, we are happy to assist police colleagues in their important work to locate missing persons and other life-saving activities alongside our own vital work to keep the public safe during a range of emergencies.”

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