Police have seen a surge in reported incidents of crime involving drone use, research finds.
According to Freedom of Information requests submitted by Sky News, reported incidents have increased by around 40% over the last two years.
It was revealed to Sky that across 20 of the 45 UK police forces, there had been more than 2,400 reports of incidents involving drones last year, a rise of around 700 from the 1,700 reports in 2016.
The report described some of the incidents, including one police force detailing how it had received reports of a drone filming a cash machine, while Gwent Police said one had been used to drop paintballs into a garden.
Speaking to Sky, deputy chief constable Serena Kennedy, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for the criminal use of drones, said: “Those who choose to use drones for a criminal purpose should be in no doubt that they face serious consequences and police will use all available powers to investigate and prosecute them.
“Before anyone uses a drone it is vital they make themselves aware of their responsibilities and the rules to make sure these devices are operated in a safe way.
She added: “We are currently working with government, the Civil Aviation Authority and others on future legislation to meet the challenges and risks posed by drones. At the same time all forces are working together to ensure consistency in the way these incidents are recorded and investigated.”