Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner has praised Lancashire Constabulary's dedicated drone team, after funding a new vehicle to support the ‘vital work’ they are doing to help keep the people of the county safe, a year after officially launching.
The additional £30,000 investment has included a for-purpose vehicle being able to rapidly respond to incidents that require air support, with drones being a quicker, more accessible and cost effective alternative to a police helicopter.
The drone team also support officers at large events, during investigations and the execution of warrants.
The Commissioner said that investment into new technologies that keep the force one step ahead of criminals is absolutely vital.
He added: “The use of drones increasingly during our police work highlights how here in Lancashire we are committed to investing in technologies that help tackle crime and keep people safe.
“I know how vital this team is and how valued they are across the force. They strengthen our ability to bring criminals to justice and that can only be a good thing.
“Policing is constantly evolving and even in my eight years as Police and Crime Commissioner, it has changed as the tactics used by criminals adapt.
“Tackling crime is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan and we will continue to utilise the latest technology to ensure criminals are removed from our streets and our communities are safe.”
Sgt Andy Barlow, of Lancashire Police’s TacOps Team, said: “We have had a dedicated drone team for just over 12 months, with access to two main search drones and now with access to two ‘quick deploy’ drones as well.
“The drones are an incredible asset and since we acquired them they have been deployed to over 1,400 incidents right across the county, including locating missing people, aiding officers on the ground at football matches, taking aerial photography for evidence-gathering purposes and allowing officers to take command of ongoing incidents by providing them with a birds-eye view. Having the drones has saved the lives of dozens of vulnerable, high-risk missing people, and has also aided in locating a large number of suspects of crime.
“We are grateful to the OPCC for providing the funding to purchase the drones and we hope this shows ours and the OPCC’s commitment to innovation and giving our officers on the ground the very best and latest tools to help them as they deal with both daily business and major incidents.”