Sussex Police placed a UAV centre stage of a manhunt mission in a bid to find missing pensioner.
The force, which received a grant for £250,000 from the Home Office to expand its drone operations in 2015, reported 70-year-old John Prince missing last week and confirmed that a drone was part of its search operation.
According to the Hastings Observer, detective chief inspector, Pierre Serra, said: “Searches, including the use of a drone, have been underway in and around Ore since Tuesday evening and are now being extended with the deployment of search volunteers.”
Last month it was revealed that police services in England and Wales are increasingly investing in UAVs because the cost of keeping helicopters in the air is climbing rapidly.
A report assessing the viability of drones across police forces has revealed that keeping a police helicopter aloft for one hour costs £2,820 – double what it cost in 2009.
Surrey and Sussex Police have already bought five UAVs at a cost of £300,000 while Durham Constabulary recently bought a £1,450 drone.
28 of the 43 forces in England and Wales have either purchased at least one drone or have one ready access.