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#388772 - 16th Feb 2010 1:25pm Unlicensed Merseyside Police drone grounded
kimpri Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Oct 2008
Posts: 3552
Loc: birkenhead
Unlicensed Merseyside Police drone grounded

Police on Merseyside have had to ground their new drone over concerns it was being used illegally without a licence.

Merseyside Police said they had been unaware they needed a licence to fly the 40,000 remote control helicopter fitted with a cctv.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it needed to be consulted over any use of the drones, that can fly up to 400ft and reach speeds of 30mph.

The force's new drone was used last week to catch a car thief in thick fog.

Drones weighing under 15lb (7kg) need CAA permission to fly within 164ft (50m) of people and within 492ft (150m) of buildings.

The CAA said any breach in regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2010, would be "treated seriously".

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "Since the force has known of the change in regulations all Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) flights have been suspended and will remain so until the appropriate licence has been granted."

He added that the CAA had been invited to inspect the drone and see how they used it.

Thermal image

The air space regulator confirmed it was investigating the use of the drone by Merseyside Police and the force had stopped all drone operations.

A CAA spokesman said it had the powers to fine those who operated illegally, but said the investigation with the Merseyside force was only in its early stages.

The military-designed equipment is directed through a remote control, which is used by an officer on the ground.

The police force has had the drone since November and has said it could be used for a range of uses, from hostage situations to monitoring large public events.

Last week, officers said thermal images provided by the force's drone led it to the first arrest it had been involved with.

A man was tracked down with the camera after he ran off from a stolen car.

The technology onboard the drone meant the officer using it was able to use live images of the suspect's body heat. The officer then directed patrols on the ground to where the man was hiding in undergrowth.

Two men were arrested and later bailed in connection to the theft.

source
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#388801 - 16th Feb 2010 2:30pm Re: Unlicensed Merseyside Police drone grounded [Re: kimpri]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5346
Loc: Birkenhead
If the Feds can't keep pace with the law and regulation changes going on then we stand no bloody chance. I despair for this country. oldman
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#389445 - 18th Feb 2010 7:05pm Re: Unlicensed Merseyside Police drone grounded [Re: BandyCoot]
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5591
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Hawhaw, what a complete waste of money.
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#389450 - 18th Feb 2010 7:20pm Re: Unlicensed Merseyside Police drone grounded [Re: DavidB]
Wheels Offline
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 4th Jan 2005
Posts: 8795
Loc: Tranmere
funny enough I was looking at these drones yesterday. the type they use are not military at all lol.

I think they uses the X6 so get about 20mins or less of flight depending on what camera they use.

www.draganfly.com

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#389509 - 18th Feb 2010 11:26pm Re: Unlicensed Merseyside Police drone grounded [Re: Wheels]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
I don't mind the plod breaking a civil law if helps them catch another fkin lowlife scumbag.

Shame all their escapades will be in vein though, Labour's ifdea of a justice system will ensure he is out doing the same thing the next day, whilst the plod are getting repremanded for breaking a civil aviation law.

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