Police drone investment pays off, says Police and Crime Commissioner

Police drone investment pays off, says Police and Crime Commissioner

Investment in new drone technology is helping police in Derbyshire deliver a more effective response to crime.

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster committed extra funding to support Derbyshire Constabulary’s drone capabilities in her 2022-23 budget.

In her recent Performance Scrutiny Meeting (PSM), the Commissioner heard evidence of how this extra investment is making a difference in protecting the public and delivering value for money.

Derbyshire now has 26 drone pilots trained with investment to train a further four. Two pilots remain in a full-time role and the remainder are working with the force’s armed response, uniformed task force and rural crime teams. This allows the force to have full geographical coverage 24-7.

In the past 12 months, the force has increased its capability to 11 drones, investing in two smaller all-weather drones to support flight in wet weather conditions. Drones have been deployed 969 times over the past 12 months and were requested on 1,291 occasions.

The delivery of Strong Local Policing is a key priority in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan and she has pledged to increase equipment and technology to ensure officers have the tools they need to protect the public and themselves if necessary.

Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “I have made it clear I will provide our officers with whatever technology and resources are necessary to increase their effectiveness.

“Drones can cover vast areas quickly. Nearly three-quarters of Derbyshire is a rural area, so the deployment of this technology quite clearly gives officers an advantage when there is a need to assess an incident or area urgently.

“Drones are now used for incidents that would have previously required helicopter support, securing considerable cost savings.

“The extra training and kit funded through this year’s budget has already delivered results and I will continue to support this area of work in the future.”

Drones are deployed to support a variety of incident types across Derbyshire including increasing search capability for missing persons, public order operations including football matches and firearms deployment.