Police and fire share state-of-the-art drone
Feb 27, 2020
By Paul Jacques

Hertfordshire Constabulary has been given access to the county’s fire and rescue service drone to assist at major incidents and during searches for high-risk vulnerable missing people. 

And plans are already underway for the constabulary and fire service to jointly fund a new, state-of-the-art drone. 

A memorandum of understanding on the use of the existing drone has been signed by Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd and County Council leader David Williams. 

The signing came hours after the drone was successfully used to find a high-risk and vulnerable 20-year-old man who went missing at 2am wearing just shorts and boots. He was located by the drone metres away from a train track in Hemel Hempstead, suffering from hypothermia and in need of an ambulance. 

The drone will continue to be piloted by firefighters based at Potters Bar fire station, who already use it to help provide additional information about an incident to senior commanders. 

“The successful drone operation to find the missing man is the perfect example of how time, resources and ultimately lives can be saved with this new shared technology,” said Mr Lloyd. 

Chief Constable Charlie Hall added: “This is a very welcome initiative, which has great potential to help us in our work in Hertfordshire, especially in our searches for high-risk vulnerable missing people.” 

Inspector James Lacey, who has led the project for Hertfordshire Constabulary, said the drone was “a very useful resource to be able to use when there is a threat to life”, adding: “We have seen the benefits of it already and the new drone will increase our capacity to help.” 

The drone is able to cover a distance seven times quicker than officers on foot. It can also be used in conditions where it is unsafe for helicopters or crews to go and is cheaper and quicker than calling in the National Police Air Service helicopter. 

The proposed replacement drone will be able to fly in all weathers and stay airborne for longer, with a one-hour flight time, a 50mph top speed and the capability to be deployed in 30 seconds. 

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