Nineteen officers from South Yorkshire police have recently undertaken a week-long intense drone operating training programme.
The initiative follows the force’s announcement earlier this year that funding had been approved to develop the service’s drone capability.
Once the training. provided by Heliguy, is complete, the force will have 24/7 drone coverage and aircrafts will be able to be deployed to help officers with a variety of operations including major incidents, search operations, crowd monitoring and proactive deployments such as warrants.
South Yorkshire police said: “Our trainee pilots have been selected from across all districts and departments, including the roads policing unit, response teams, tasking teams, CID and neighbourhoods.
“This week is not the first time officers have used the equipment, over the last month they have been having flying lessons from our existing drone operators, however, this is the start of their formal training and assessment.”
‘Drone School’ started in a classroom with officers undertaking two full days of tutor-led sessions covering a range of legislation and regulations, followed by an exam and practical assessments.
One of South Yorkshire Police’s existing pilots with the Airport Policing Group, PC Gordon Sitch, said: “Day one is a lot to take on board, there were lots of very serious faces – which is good, it’s serious stuff.
“This is a great opportunity for these officers, but it’s also a big responsibility going ahead and it’s important they concentrate and work hard this week.”