'The cutting edge of policing technology': More Northamptonshire Police officers trained to use drones

Eight officers taught how to pilot two new drones and associated equipment, including thermal imaging binoculars

More Northamptonshire Police officers have been trained to fly drones as part of a trial to make the technology more available to response teams.

Eight officers have learned how to pilot the two new drones and associated equipment, including thermal imaging binoculars, at a cost of £35,000.

Inspector Mark Holland, who is leading the scheme which started yesterday (Monday, March 16), believes it will make the force more effective and efficient.

Northamptonshire Police officers with one of the new drones

"Day in, day out, response officers are first on the scene of all kinds of serious incidents," he said.

"Giving them better access to drones means that they are able to quickly take control and respond to save lives and fight crime in the best way."

Before the trial, officers had to ask a shared resource like a drone operator or the police helicopter, which may not be readily available.

But now the drones will be carried in patrol cars and can be used much quicker for a variety of purposes, such as searching for missing people or giving officers a bird's eye view of any given situation.

A Northamptonshire Police officer with one of the new drones

The funding for the 10-month trial has come from the Northamptonshire police, fire and crime commissioner Stephen Mold.

"I am committed to increasing the use of technology where it will help Northamptonshire Police officers to do an even better job and this is an innovative and exciting development for the force," he said.

"Drones are not only at the cutting edge of policing technology but they are an extremely cost-effective way of covering open distances and giving officers visibility of a situation.

"I look forward to seeing the results of this trial and the benefits to the county of putting this technology to use."

A Northamptonshire Police officer with one of the new drones
One of Northamptonshire Police's new drones in action
One of Northamptonshire Police's new drones in action