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UK police air service carries out UAV trials

The National Police Air Service has conducted an initial evaluation of drone technology in order to examine its potential value on the frontline.

The trial included a series of simulated ‘police aviation scenarios,’ currently fulfilled by the organisation’s existing national fleet of helicopters and aeroplanes. It was conducted using an Elbit Systems Hermes 900, at West Wales Airport near Aberporth.

Joint funding for the activity came from the Home Office and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Speaking of the exercise, director of flight operations at NPAS, Captain Ollie Dismore, said: “Meeting the diverse needs of the police forces of England and Wales requires both flexibility and versatility. Forces require us to embrace innovation and make use of advancing technology, including seizing opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint.

“If this technology enables us to fulfil our national remit more efficiently then it will be considered as part of a future national police air service fleet.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said: “Our police confront danger to protect us and they deserve the best tools and the best technology.

"These trials may point to a new and more effective way for the police’s air service to do its vital job - finding missing people and bearing down on crime.”

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