Drones have been used to help a Tesco store combat fly tipping and unauthorised travellers on their land.
The eye in the sky helped the Estates Manager at a major Tesco Extra store in Kingston upon Thames report the crime to local police.
Police often cannot act without proof of unlawful activity, which led Tesco to contacting property security specialists VPS Security Services to see if they could record evidence of the fly-tipping taking place.
VPS deployed a DJI Inspire 2 drone, with the pilot using the roof of the trading store for safe take-off and landing.
The presence of the drone meant travellers saw they were being watched and began turning away vehicles that had come to fly-tip, and they even began re-loading their own vehicles with previously fly-tipped rubbish.
Every time a new vehicle entered the car park, VPS would send the drone up and the unauthorised squatters would send the vehicle away.
The drone led to the travellers quickly leaving the site, taking a large amount of their rubbish with them.
However, what was left cost £30,000 to clear up and remove safely.
Tom Acland, VPS security services managing director said: “Despite news laws last year that have severely increased the penalties, fly-tipping occurs in the UK every 40 seconds, so it’s a massive problem, and hugely expensive for local authorities and businesses to deal with.”
He added: “Drones are giving landowners, facilities and estates managers and businesses an extra advantage now for security and protection. We will continue to increase their deployment as they add not only legally useful evidence, but also, as in this instance, additional pressure on unauthorised squatters and fly-tippers.”