The value of UAVs in criminal investigations and police work has been reiterated as a rape investigation in Manchester now depends on the footage from a UAV being flown nearby.
Greater Manchester Police has confirmed that when the alleged assault took place around midday on Sunday, a pilot in the local area could have inadvertently captured vital footage that would assist officers in the investigation.
The woman, who is in her 20s, was walking along a path through a wooded area when she was followed by two men.
Detective Inspector Rick Thompson of GMP’s Wigan borough, said: “We are particularly interested in speaking to a member of the public who was believed to be flying a drone around the time of the incident and may have inadvertently captured some footage that could help us.”
Drones are increasingly being commissioned by police forces across the UK to aid crime-fighting measures, with many constabularies now running their own drone divisions.
Last month it was announced that both Welsh and Scottish police forces would be investing in UAVs.
Police Scotland is planning to trial the use of two drones, one is to be based in Inverness and the other in Aberdeen and would be used in different operations, including searches for missing people, according to the BBC.
In Wales, 15 officers and staff have been trained to use UAVs to capture video and images to be used in investigations.