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More than 80 drone deployments, leading to over 36 hours operational flying time, have been completed, by our drone pilots, in the first month of this year. Most flights focussed on protecting the public and detaining criminals.
The drone pilots have completed searches of open areas, reducing officer demand, for missing persons, searching for suspects who are trying to evade officers, including drivers who have fled from incidents. Often searches are about discounting areas, saving hours of officer time, allowing us to concentrate on further lines of enquiry.
Drones have been deployed along with firearms officers to numerous incidents providing commanders with an overview of developments as they unfold.
The pilots have found stolen farm equipment, which has subsequently been recovered. They have been used to support events and football matches, providing vital crowd dynamic information, and captured video footage of multiple road traffic collisions and crime scenes.
In just one month they have been deployed 17 times to search for missing people, 14 times for suspect searches. The average flight time is just 25 minutes to completion.
In January alone, our drone pilots have supported officers deployed with firearms 14 times. The average flight time per incident was 50 minutes.
With more officers being trained in Skegness and Grantham, and new drones now being available across the county, the availability for commanders and investigating officers, who wish to consider using a drone as a tactical option has never been better.
Chief Superintendent Paul Timmins, Head of Central Operations, said:
“With the force investing in this area, with the creation of a chief drone pilot post, and new drone technology, we are seeing amazing results.
“The training in house and the community engagement carried out by our Chief Drone Pilot, is having a positive impact on both our policing priorities, and educating our communities, in the safe use of drones."
The drone can fly in all weather conditions including freezing temperatures, rain, and high winds. The pilots can switch between thermal and daytime views, and they have double the battery life of the older drones.
To see the work of our drone pilots, follow @LincsCOPter on Twitter.