Nottinghamshire Police has reported a successful start to its drone unit.
As reported by the West Bridgford Wire, the team went live on January 1 with three drones, all equipped with thermal capabilities.
PC Vince Saunders is the chief pilot and one of 15 officers to operate drones in complement to core duties.
Speaking to the local news source, he explained: “In a very short space of time the drone unit has become an invaluable policing resource. Having that three-dimensional perspective can help officers out in nearly every conceivable police incident – from arrests and searches to crowd control and drugs raids.
Adding: “We can even use a police drone to quickly and accurately map the scenes of road traffic accidents. At first, they may have been a novelty, but our drones are now a central part of our response to so many incidents.”
“The real advantage of our drones is in their versatility, cost-effectiveness and the speed in which they can be deployed. That means we’re now using them to help in situations where helicopter support just wouldn’t have been a viable or cost-effective option in the past.”
The team also uses the larger drone of the three support Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service assess the scenes of fires.
Saunders concluded: “Obviously our drones are not cheap, but they are a one-off cost and they are providing fantastic value for money. They are keeping people safe, helping us to apprehend suspected offenders, and generally helping us to fight and investigate all manner of crime. That’s why I believe we’ll be using them a lot more in the future.”