“Stop, criminal scum!” – that's the sound law-breakers could soon hear bellowed down from above thanks to an aerial fleet of quadcopter coppers that are about to take flight in the UK.
Surry and Sussex Police have been awarded £250,000 to purchase four new drones that will aid law enforcement during official operations.
The cash comes courtesy of the Police Innovation Fund, and marks the beginning of the largest trial of police drones in England and Wales, as first reported by Police Oracle.
The drone model in question is the Canadian-built Aeryon SkyRanger sUAS, which has already been in operation at London’s Gatwick airport since 2014.
Take a look at the drone in Aeryon Labs’ video below:
“Designed to military and government specifications, the Aeryon SkyRanger sUAS airframe and integrated platform is based on successful customer exercises and missions around the world,” writes Aeryon, on its website.
The SkyRanger is capable of a 50-minute flight time, can be operated by a single user, and has “reliable flight performance in demanding environments and high winds”.
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“Our drone operations will be overt, open and transparent, and we will use all outlets available to us to ensure the public are informed of our drone use,” says Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, head of Surry and Sussex Police Operations.
“We have consulted extensively with the Information Commissioners Office and the Office of Surveillance Commissioners, both of whom are satisfied with the approach we have taken over privacy and data protection,” Barry continued.
He added: “The OSC recently saw the Gatwick drone being operated and was impressed with our operational protocols.”
Would the prospect of an unmanned copper-chopper put you off criminal activities? Let us know in the comments.