This post originally appeared on http://www.airmedandrescue.com/story/1445.
[Editor’s Note: South Wales Police currently has 10 drone operators.]
South Wales Police has announced that it is joining the ranks of 14 forces in England and Wales to operate remotely piloted aircraft. South Wales Police has acquired a drone that will help perform a range of functions, including assisting with searches for missing people, policing large scale events, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping officers safe.
“Today marks a new chapter in our fight to prevent, deter and detect crime,” said assistant chief constable, Jeremy Vaughan. “In recent years, South Wales has been affected by deliberate fire setting and nuisance off road bikers. Now that we have the capability to monitor and patrol areas which are geographically challenging, we can continue to keep South Wales a safe place in which to work and live.”
South Wales Police now boasts 10 trained drone operators whose skills will be used to help prevent crime across the region, complementing the manned aircraft service provided by the National Police Air Service. To begin with, they will be using drones to prevent and deter rural crime or at pre-planned police operations.
“Drones offer many benefits that will support our current operational resources,” said Inspector Frances Williams of South Wales Police. “This technology will provide a more cost effective and efficient way of dealing with missing person searches, crime scene photography, and other police activities. Using a drone to capture footage on difficult terrain and hard to reach areas will allow officers to gain vital information, quickly, safely, and allow us to respond effectively at the scene. Initially drones will be deployed to investigate grass fires and other rural crime and other community-based operations. As their capability develops they will be deployed for more general policing work.”