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UK drone complaints are on the rise, and fast

As consumer drones grow in popularity, so too has the number complaints surrounding the airborne gadgets.

According to new figures obtained by the Press Association, reports of police being called out to deal with drone-based incidents have tripled in the past year alone.

While the the figures were up significantly between 2015 and 2016, compared to 2014, the number rose radically, with official complaints up twelvefold.

As well as the well publicised near-misses with passenger planes, these drone-based complaints cover a wide-arching range of crimes and misdemeanours.

These including burglars using drones fitted with cameras to scope out homes to target, and neighbours complaining of those living nearby using drones to spy on them over their fences and hedges.

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“Previously you had a hedge, you had a wall, and you could do whatever you wanted in your garden without people disturbing you,” Professor David H Dunn of Birmingham University told the Press Association. “That has changed because of drones.”

Back in 2014, when drone ownership was still in its infancy, there were just 283 drone-based incidents in which the police were called to address.

Since then, incidents have been increasingly regular, withe 1,237 reports in 2015 and a massive 3,456 reports last year.

Despite the lofty figures, the equivalent of almost 100 complaints per day, the true number is likely higher, with the data missing figures from a number of the country’s police forces.

Just last week it emerged that late last year a passenger jet coming in to land at Heathrow airport came within 30 metres of being hit by an eight-prop drone. The pilots said that there was nothing they could have done to avoid the machine, and it was only luck that stopped them being hit.

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Have you had problems with drones? Let us know in the comments below.

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