Crime fight­ing takes to the skies

Po­lice us­ing drones to track crim­i­nals and trace miss­ing peo­ple

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Event - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@peter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

Po­lice will be tak­ing the fight against crime to the skies as they use the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to track crooks. Drones are the lat­est in new tech­nol­ogy to join the front­line of polic­ing in Bed­ford­shire, Cam­bridgeshire and Hert­ford­shire fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful trial of the un­manned eyes-in-the-sky.

The tri-force polic­ing al­liance has car­ried out a ninemonth trial and trained of­fi­cers in the use of Un­manned Aerial Ve­hi­cle (UAVs).

Since June four UAVs – com­monly known as drones – have been used op­er­a­tionally.

It is hoped they will also pro­vide cost sav­ings, by re­duc­ing the nead to launch the po­lice he­li­copter.

In­spec­tor Mark Far­rant said the new kit would be of great ben­e­fit to of­fi­cers.

He said :“Ex­plor­ing the ef­fi­cien­cies of new tech­nol­ogy is key to help­ing us face the chal­lenges of mod­ern polic­ing.

“Not only can th­ese state of the art drones help us to achieve sav­ings where the po­lice he­li­copter could oth­er­wise be de­ployed, 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.”

The drones can be used to sup­port op­er­a­tions and in­ves­ti­ga­tions, and to help en­sure the safety of the pub­lic.

The de­vices, which have the abil­ity to cap­ture high­def­i­ni­tion video and take high­res­o­lu­tion pho­tographs, can as­sist in the search for miss­ing peo­ple, doc­u­ment crime scenes and chem­i­cal in­ci­dents, and sup­port fa­tal and se­ri­ous col­li­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Across the three forces a to­tal of 16 pilots have been trained from de­part­ments in­clud­ing Roads Polic­ing and Armed Polic­ing.

Cambs po­lice with their new joint op­er­a­tions drone unit at RAFAl­con­bury. Drone pilots In­spec­tor Chris Hug­gins (letf) and PC Liam Den­man.

Drone pi­lot Andy Craigie

Sim­u­lated chem­i­cal in­ci­dent be­ing watched by the drone

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