Saturday 23 April 2016

Surrey now has the UK's 'Largest' Police Drone Project


Surry Police – Largest Drone Squadron in UK

Surrey police has the largest drone squadron in the UK after being given £250,000 to buy new drones. The Surrey and Sussex Police force had trained 38 of its members of staff on how to fly UAVs and will be increasing its fleet from one to five after being funded by the Home Office. Officer utilising the drone during the three month trial would comprise of those in Gatwick Airport’s armed response unit, forensic collision investigation and reconstruction, a targeted patrol team, neighbourhood response together with a command search and operation planning unit.

Assistant chief constable Steve Barry had commented in a statement that their drone operations will be overt, open and transparent and will use all outlets available to ensure that the public are informed regarding the drone use. He also stated that it was the largest trial of drone by the police in the UK and other forces testing drones will provide the force with details. As per the police force, discussions regarding the privacy of members of the public have taken place with the Information Commissioner’s Office and the office of the Surveillance Commissioner. It is said that both seemed to be satisfied with the plans to test the drones.

Drones Used for Various Applications

The police force has been conducting limited trials with its prevailing drone around Gatwick airport and the four new Aeryon SkyRangers purchased will be utilised by the trained officers. Barry had added that the OSC had recently seen the Gatwick drone being operated and were impressed with the operational protocols. As the potentials of drone tend to have increased, more public authorities have begun to test the drones for various application. Police forces in UK including the Police Service of Northern Ireland have been testing the use of drone.

Commercial use of drone has been covered by guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority and organisations need to register drones of a definite size with the regulator. As reported by The Telegraph, local councils have started the use of drones to evaluate planning application for building alterations and new building. In all, 12 councils had purchased or hired drones, using them for planning, monitoring coastal erosion and surveying dangerous buildings. First responders to emergency cases all over Europe have also been set in starting the use of drones in support with their work.

Potential of 50-Minute Flight Time

The European Emergency Number Association has stated that mountain rescue teams in Ireland as well as fire-fighters in Holland would be given DJI drone in order to help in responding to situations. In the meanwhile in Malawi, UNICEFhas been testing the use of drones in speeding the process of diagnosing HIV. The drone model is the Canadian-built Aeryon SkyRanger sUAS that has been operative since 2014 at London’s Gatwick airport.

Aeryon has mentioned on its website that `designed to military and government specifications, the Aeryon SkyRanger uUAS airframe and integrated platform is based on successful customer exercises and missions all around the world. The SkyRanger is said to have the potential of a 50 minute flight time which can be operated by a sole user and tends to have reliable flight performance in demanding environments and high winds.

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