Police across Northern Ireland have used drones nearly 400 times since June 2013, according to new research.
The figures obtained by BBC NI show how authorities used drones in wildlife rescues, missing person operations and VIP visits.
According to a report from the BBC, the Police Service for North Ireland (PSNI) Air Support currently has three micro and three small aircraft UAVs.
In a breakdown of its use of drones, the statistics outline how 283 of the 372 flights were to assist with district policing, 51 were for wildlife rescue, 8 were for VIP visits and 8 were for missing person missions.
Commenting on the figures, the PSNI confirmed to the BBC that its figures do not include the “covert” use of drones.
In a statement, it said: “Confirming or denying the specific circumstances in which the police service may or may not deploy UAVs covertly, would lead to an increase of harm to covert investigations and compromise law enforcement.
“This would be to the detriment of providing an efficient policing service and a failure in providing a duty of care to all members of the public. It is well established that police forces use covert tactics and surveillance to gain intelligence in order to counteract criminal behaviour.”
Yesterday, Commercial Drone Professional reported on the implementation of the new drone laws.
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