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Northumbria Police is about to start using eight drones as “eyes in the sky” to tackle crime. According to Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness, the devices would be available at all times, with two of the drones capable of flying in challenging weather conditions.
According to BCC News, there are three officers who received pilot training, and a further 16 are expected to be ready by the end of November.
PCC McGuinness said it was important to find new ways to fight crime, stating: “This is just a small start, but it means we will have the ability to use technology to support officers and take on criminals. These eyes in the sky will make a real difference in everything from catching criminals to improving safety at events, with intelligence-led policing at its heart.”
She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that from the end of next month, the force would be able to fully use the drones for various events.
A drone has already been tried by officers in a joint operation earlier this year with British Transport Police. It was used to track off-road bike riders in Northumberland, with Newcastle councilor Peter Lovatt telling the meeting that having drones follow illegal bikes was an “excellent idea”. Reportedly, the force does not currently engage in chases with anti-social and illegal bikes due to the dangers of doing so, to the riders, officers, and the passing public.