Coptrz selected to head up police forces’ first full-time UAV unit

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UK-based UAV specialist Coptrz has teamed up with Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police as their exclusive supplier of UAV solutions.

The partnership announcement comes as the forces look to expand their fleets in the coming months. The police services are set to purchase a range of specialist UAVs equipped with optical zoom and thermal imaging capabilities.

The Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police were the first forces to announce their intentions to employ full-time UAV pilots and create a dedicated drone unit, making the announcement earlier this year.

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The force’s financial investment in drones and UAV operations follows 18 months of successful trials across the region. During trials, it was reported that the use of UAVs significantly increased response time and cost-effectiveness of the forces’ aerial assets.

Following a technical and competitive tender process, Coptrz was able to recommend a complete UAV solution including airframe, batteries, cameras, control systems and ongoing maintenance and warranty support for the duration of the lifespan of each aircraft.

The drones will be mainly used for missing person searches, crime scene investigations and fast response to major road traffic collisions. They will also help search the forces’ 600 miles of coastline. A number of the drones will be equipped with dual camera capabilities, enabling ground teams to receive both thermal and optical zoom data simultaneously.

Steve Coulson, founder and managing director of Coptrz, said: “The demands of the awarded contract were strict, however, due to our unique supplier partnerships we have been able to provide a bespoke solution that will prove to be an excellent asset to Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police.”

It is expected that the new drones will be fully operational in early 2018.

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Emma Calder

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