The UK is famous for many things but an abundance of exotic wildlife isn’t one of them. Which means the police have to take special measures to keep what little they do have intact.
Lincolnshire Police have a fleet of drones to help with event security, tactical operations and more. Over the weekend one was deployed above woods in Beckingham, Lincolnshire. Its heat-detecting camera was able to spot a group of suspected deer poachers, parked and waiting to shoot deer illegally after dark.
It’s safe to say that without the use of a drone and thermal camera, the four arrests would not have been possible. Look closely, you might also spot a hedgehog in the thermal footage:
Poachers in Beckingham last night thought they could hide in their car in a wood! #24hr #thermal #police #drone deployed, finds them in minutes and guides in @LincsPoliceK999 4 in custody! #RuralCrime @CIPhilVickers @MarcJonesLincs @DCCCraigNaylor @lincspolice pic.twitter.com/FN77akjQEV
— Lincs Police Drones (@lincsCOPter) October 20, 2018
UK first responders leading the way with drone applications
Sure, it’s not the most glamorous of anti-poaching stories we’ve seen drones involved with. Lincolnshire is not the Seychelles or the expansive plains of Tanzania. But still, it’s another victory to be celebrated, particularly during a week with more ‘near-misses’ reported and, of course, the misleading but viral drone crash study.
And iIt’s not the first time first responders in the UK have highlighted the potential – crime-fighting and otherwise – of drone technology.
Earlier this month, the same Lincolnshire police force used a drone and thermal camera to find a rape victim who had called in with an approximate location.
High risk missing girl contacts police states she been raped & is still with the offender. Describes location thought to be huge old industrial complex surrounded by 8ft fence. Our #thermal #drone makes the find in mins. Officers guided in. 1 in custody and child safeguarded. pic.twitter.com/Vv3uULzVW1
— Lincs Police Drones (@lincsCOPter) October 6, 2018
Firefighters also used DJI drones to help survey the wreckage and search for survivors following the Grenfell Tower fire last year.
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 16, 2017