Three UK police departments in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset have teamed up to create the first dedicated 24/7 drone unit to assist in operational activities.
Attempts to create such units have already been made in the United States, but they were unsuccessful due to protests from citizens, since, in the opinion of many of them, this violated their privacy rights. However, despite this, by the end of 2016, 347 US government departments were actively using drones, with the majority being sheriff's offices and police stations.
Their colleagues in the UK faced similar problems. But even here, in the end, they came to the need to create a unit of drones. In 2015, tests began with the participation of 6 UAVs. Currently, there are 5 employees in the unit, in the future it is planned to increase their number to 40.
The main purpose of drones is to search for missing persons, photograph the scene of a crime, report major accidents and help in the fight against those who destroy wildlife. For this, DJI Inspire drones will be used, equipped with thermal imagers and 4K video cameras.
There was even a proposal to replace conventional foot police patrols with drones, which will dramatically reduce the number of police officers on the streets of British cities.