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Journalist, Routes Online

June 21, 2017

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The Video Surveillance Report 2022

IFSEC 2017

Police and security drone use on the rise

A rising number of police forces and security services in the UK are using drones and the figure is set to increase further, according to the managing director of a CAA-approved UAV training provider.

Sion Roberts, the boss of RUSTA and Eagle Eye Innovations, said he started working with officers in Surrey and Sussex in late 2015 and demand for training has steadily grown.

“We first trained about 40 officers from Surrey and Sussex to use small unmanned aircraft in their day-to-day policing roles,” he said. “Since then we’ve trained elements of the Metropolitan Police, forensics in Northern Ireland and parts of the Ministry of Defence.”

Surrey and Sussex Police initially trained 38 members of staff and in 2016 secured £250,000 to expand its fleet of drones from one to five.

In addition to police and emergency services, the use of UAVs is becoming widespread by the film and TV sector, farming and agriculture, surveyors, and search and rescue teams.

However, pilots operating drones commercially in the UK must obtain permission from the CAA. Roberts, who spent 22 years in the RAF, stressed that the commercial drone industry is growing rapidly but effective regulation is essential.

“The only way the industry is going to grow is to keep it safe,” he said.

“Regulation has to carry on evolving. If a drone causes an incident, this fledgling industry could come to a grinding halt very quickly.”

But Roberts said the CAA has been “very pragmatic” in helping the industry to advance.

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peter Jones
peter Jones
July 2, 2017 6:45 pm

Lets see what happens when it comes to renew and this is something that can’t be self insured as usual wit crown services, also flying very very expensive out of date UAV’s

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