A local British police force will take to the skies to find missing people, investigate crimes and save lives via drone technology.
The Norfolk Constabulary announced a three-month UAV trial program this week. The agency will deploy four drone teams and officials hope to extend the program well into the future.
The agency purchased a DJI Inspire and a DJI Mavic, Norfolk officials said in a press release and both boast a 4K downlink which will allow officers in a Contact and Control room to capture and analyze live video footage.
“Drones offer many benefits that complement the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter,” Norfolk Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean said. “This technology offers a highly cost-effective approach to help assist our officers. While the technology still has its limitations, the option of launching a drone in the air in a few minutes could help save lives and secure evidence if a crime was in progress.”
Each drone can stay aloft for about 20 minutes between battery charges and boasts cameras that have already been used for forensic photography, search and rescue, as well as for reconnaissance following an industrial accident.
“For our police to be as efficient and effective as possible, it’s vital they have the right tools,” Constable Lorne Green said in a press release. “When it comes to tackling the crime affecting our communities in the 21st century, we need to be looking at the 21st century technology available to us.”
Norwalk is just one of many UK police agencies to enter the “Game of Drones.” Last year, police in Devon and Cornwall launched a drone trial to look for missing persons, assist police at crime scenes and traffic accidents as well as general aerial photography.
In Surrey, the county’s volunteer search-and-rescue team announced a partnership with the local police to deploy drones to find missing persons – especially children or those suffering dementia. The service uses twin DJI Phantom 3 UAVs to scan a specific area and stream high-def video including thermal imaging.
Like commercial operators, government agencies must obtain a license to fly from the CAA (the British counterpart to the FAA) to legally pilot drones in public spaces.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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