Drone support trial set for Tamworth

Tamworth is set to host a drone support trial to modernise the approach to air support in Staffordshire Police.

As part of the force’s policing strategy to find creative and practical solutions on a localised scale, this trial aims to provide Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) with new methods of addressing emergency service requirements.

The overt use of drones in both pre-planned and spontaneous tasking aims to improve the range of tactics available to NPT’s, serving as an alternative to fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

Cost-effective drones can be deployed rapidly to respond to community concerns and priorities, allowing Staffordshire Police to work more effectively with partnering agencies.

Key community tasking such as identifying cannabis cultivation, identifying those responsible for causing ASB, searching for missing persons and evidence gathering for criminal offences can be allocated to neighbourhood based police drones, delivering a more effective and efficient local response.

This reduces the demand on the National Police Air Service (NPAS), who can dispatch more resources to vehicle pursuits, crime scene searches and efforts to locate vulnerable missing persons.

Chief Inspector Matt Derrick, of Staffordshire Police, said: “Air support, both from NPAS and the existing drone team, hasn’t always been a viable option to meet more specific local needs.

This trial is a real game-changer for the level of service we can provide the public and our partners. It gives us another tool to deter and tackle criminality and ASB within our communities, complementing a visible policing presence in reassuring the public of Tamworth.

It also demonstrates how Staffordshire Police, as a force is investing in and developing more innovative approaches to fast evolving technology.”