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Police in Hampshire and the Thames Valley to launch fleet of drones

Photo by: Hampshire Police

The pilot scheme will be testing the capability of drones in policing across the Hampshire and Thames Valley areas from mid-August

The Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police (TVP) are going to be testing drones in the two areas to help them in a number of reactive and pre-planned situations.

They're going to be used in situations such as searching for missing people, responding to major incidents, as well as capturing aerial crime scene imagery. 

Each force will have three drones to use during the trial, and 34 drone operators have been trained across Hampshire and TVP.

The six engine model drones, made by Yuneec, have high definition, optical and thermal imaging cameras and can be flown to a maximum of 400 feet.

Assistant Chief Constable David Hardcastle, who's responsible for operation across Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: “We are launching a proof of concept to look at the effectiveness of using drones as an operational tactic for officers in the two forces. 

“We will look at how drones can assist in a variety of overt policing situations with a view to rolling out the use of drones in both forces permanently, should the pilot be a success. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for both forces, which will mean officers can get an aerial view of large areas in a short periods of time.

"Their use should really assist with finding offenders suspected of crime or disorder and, missing people in large open expanses or wooded areas, providing live feeds for officers at major incidents or football games and protests and many other applications. 

“Both Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary are committed to using technology to fight crime and make the public safer and hopefully the use of drones will be another tool available to do this.”

Members of the public will be able to see the use of the drones from mid-August when the pilot scheme goes operational for both forces.

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