Use of drones


Drone header

The Trial is over and both Forces are using Drones Operationally.

As part of its alliance Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police formed a drone team and began to trial the use of drones in policing in November 2015.

The six month trial demonstrated that the use of drones can be effective in capturing still or video images on difficult terrain and hard to reach areas such as cliffs, woodland or moors in order to find a missing person, combat wildlife crime or to provide support during a firearm incident.

The use of drones allows officers to gain vital information, quickly and safely and to respond effectively at the scene.

During the summer of 2016, the use of drones or 'unmanned aerial systems' (UAS) became a regular asset to investigators and the two police forces formed the first dedicated drone unit in the UK.

Drone safety training

Did you receive a drone as a present, or are you thinking of buying one for yourself or someone else?

We're offering 'safer drones' courses. Please check the safer drones page for course dates and cost.

Drone flying: a short guide from the UK CAA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are drones a replacement to the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter?

Drone technology offers a highly cost effective approach to missing person searches, crime scene photography, and responding to major road traffic collisions, but is not seen as a replacement to the NPAS helicopter.

How do they work?

The drones have a HD (high definition) downlink which means officers on the ground can see live video captured by the drone in the air. The video can also be shared with commanders in our force control rooms.

Are your drone pilots appropriately trained?

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations state that drone operators must pass a national CAA accredited qualification which all our operators have passed.

How can I keep up to date with the team's work?

A twitter account has been created @PoliceDrones which keeps you informed about where and when the drone is in operational use, as well as sharing operational footage and images of our drones in action.

A gallery of Drone images

Survelliance Camera Commissioner (SCC)

Surveillance camera code compliant

What they do

The role of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner is to encourage compliance with the surveillance camera code of practice. We are compliant.

SCC works with the Home Office. Read more about what the SCC does

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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