Drones which could seriously injure or kill are being flown over cities and towns across England, despite laws designed to protect the public.
Dozens of YouTube clips show the aircraft, which can be bought for £300, over populated areas including London, Liverpool and Nottingham.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) prohibits the flying of drones over or within 150m of built-up areas.
But there have been calls for it to do more to raise awareness of the law.
Videos uploaded to YouTube show the remote-controlled aircraft, which have become cheaper in recent years, being flown above bustling areas of London, Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium and towns including Margate and Broadstairs in Kent.
One was also flown directly over Nottingham’s Goose Fair while the popular event was taking place.
More videos show drones over football matches and crowds of people in Derby and Stoke.
It comes as new research led by former intelligence chief Sir David Omand found the aircraft were likely to raise significant “safety, security and privacy concerns” over the next 20 years.
‘Look like toys’
Chris Wilkinson, director of Upper Cut Productions – a Nottingham-based company which uses drones to film legally, said although the devices had become easier to obtain, in the wrong hands drones, could cause serious injury or death.
His colleague, Jordan Brooks said: “They look like toys. For anyone buying one you feel like you’re flying a toy ‘copter when actually you’ve got a hazardous helicopter that can come down and injure somebody,” he said.
“We’ve been doing this for 10 years but it’s always been a concern of ours that something could happen that could affect the entire industry.
“Our livelihoods could be in danger by the operator of a drone that puts lives at risks but our main concern is the safety of people rather than our business.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com