Devon and Cornwall Police are going to be the first in the country to harness the power of drones to combat crime by forming a full time drone division.

Following a trial period that started in November 2015, a fleet of DJI Inspire drones will be deployed across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset on a range of crime fighting tasks including, amongst other things, search operations and crime scene photography.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said that the police service are “committed to embracing new technologies to deliver high-quality, cost- effective services and protection to the public”.  Embracing drone technology can offer the public and improved service at a fraction of the cost of deploying the more traditional police helicopter.  That’s not to say that helicopters are being phased out of operations but the ease with which drone surveillance can be employed, particularly in the close quarters of an urban area, has significant possibilities for police work.

21 other police forces are already experimenting with their own drone fleets and will no doubt be keeping a close eye on the progress down in the West Country.