Drones recruited to head up manhunt operation

The Home Office and the emergency services have united to create a programme that would see UAV fleets deployed for manhunts and medical aid delivery among other uses.

Under a new body of regulations, drones could be used to provide emergency assistance to police, fire brigades and the NHS as well as Border Force officials, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The scheme, cited as the Bluelight Air Support Programme, will see unmanned vehicles become staples for emergency teams carrying out manhunts, conducting coastal patrols and delivering medical aid.

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Bluelight Air Support Programme was also launched in a bid to increase surveillance options for emergency responders and to free up police helicopters for addressing critical events such as acts of terrorism.

The move towards UAVs comes after it was revealed that 58% of requests from police officers for helicopter attendance in 2014-15 were not met, meaning there is an unmet demand for aerial support.

A National Police Chiefs Council spokesman told the paper: “There has been some early work but the programme is still in its initial stages.”

Tags : Bluelight Air Support ProgrammeDronedrone operationmanhuntPolicePolicingUASUnmanned Aerial Vehicle
Emma Calder

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