Eight drone pilots trained and equipped to save lives and fight crime in Northamptonshire
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A trial launched by Northamptonshire Police on Monday (16 March) will give police officers quick access to drone technology - day or night - to support in fighting crime and protecting people.
Eight police officers working on response teams have been trained as drone pilots and two new drones and associated equipment have been purchased to give the Force a 24/7 drone capacity.
The drones will be carried in the back of patrol cars and will be available to response teams across the county, who currently have to ask to use a shared resource that may not be available. Coupled with greater availability of trained pilots, this means that drones can now be quickly deployed by frontline officers at incidents such as searching for missing or vulnerable people or locating suspects in a crime.
This new approach will give officers across the county better and speedier access to the latest technology and ensure a rapid deployment when needed that will ultimately have a significant impact on the response to serious incidents.
Inspector Mark Holland, who is leading the pilot scheme, said: “Our existing Police and Fire and Rescue pilots have paved the way in applying this technology within an emergency services setting. It is their work and ingenuity that has laid the foundation for this next exciting step. The Joint Operations Team remain critical to the success of the trial and their support has been invaluable. This programme has massively increased our capacity to use drone technology, which will help us to do our job of protecting the public and catching criminals even more effectively.
“Day in, day out, response officers are first on the scene of all kinds of serious incidents. Giving them better access to drones means that they are able quickly take control and respond to save lives and fight crime in the very best way.”
Training the pilots and purchasing the equipment has cost £35,000 and has been funded by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, said: “I am committed to increasing the use of technology where it will help Northamptonshire Police officers to do an even better job and this is an innovative and exciting development for the Force.
“Drones are not only at the cutting edge of policing technology but they are an extremely cost effective way of covering open distance and giving officers visibility of a situation. I look forward to seeing the results of this trial and the benefits to the county of putting this technology to use.”
During the 10 month trial, drone use will be monitored to see if it gives better outcomes to incidents and the trial will be fully evaluated when complete.