POLICE across the county have announced today (October 29) that they will undertake a a six month trial of small unmanned aircrafts – more commonly referred to as drones – starting in January 2016.
Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police made the announcement following a demonstration of drone technology today at Leek Wootton.
During the trial, drones may be deployed to an incident as a resource to assist or they may be used in a pre-planned operation, such as to help manage public safety.
Nav Malik, temporary assistant chief constable, added: “One area we are keen to explore further is how drones may be able to assist officers in locating a vulnerable missing person in a rural area.
“In theory a drone should be able to help us search a large area quickly using aerial photography and thermal imaging equipment.
“This can be viewed from the ground to direct officers to a location faster.”
Drones are also ear-marked to help officers gather evidence to support a prosecution, for example taking aerial photographs of a road traffic collision or crime scene.
Each drone will be controlled by a fully trained operator who will have physical responsibility for the direction and control of the aircraft.
A second person ,referred to as an observer, is responsible for operating the photographic equipment attached to the device.
Policies and procedures have been put in place to ensure that air operations using these small drones are carried out safely, ethically and in accordance with relevant CAA regulations.
Following the trial, results will be evaluated and used to support the decision of whether drones will be formally adopted.