The U.K.’s South Wales Police, which services 42% of Wales’ population, has acquired an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The South Wales Police, which says it is the largest police force in Wales, believes the UAV will offer front-line officers a different perspective on policing.
According to the department, there are already 14 police forces in England and Wales using drones.
Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan says the drone acquisition “marks a new chapter in [the force’s] fight to prevent, deter and detect crime.”
“In recent years, South Wales has been affected by deliberate fire-setting and nuisance off-road bikers. Now that we have the capability to monitor and patrol areas which are geographically challenging, we can continue to keep South Wales a safe place in which to work and live,” Vaughan explains.
“Drones offer many benefits that will support our current operational resources,” says Inspector Frances Williams. “This technology will provide a more cost-effective and efficient way of dealing with missing-person searches, crime scene photography and other police activities.”
The force says it currently has 10 operators certified by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority.
Williams adds, “Initially, drones will be deployed to investigate grassfires and other rural crime and other community-based operations. As their capability develops, they will be deployed for more general policing work.”