1. ITV Report

Police launch drone force to tackle crime

Devon and Cornwall Police are seeking a drone team manager. Credit: PA

Police in the south-west of England are launching a drone unit to help tackle crime.

Devon and Cornwall Police will launch a round-the-clock team to assist police officers with matters such as searching for missing people and taking crime scene photographs.

The police force have advertised for a "drone team manager" to set up and manage an "operational and dynamic drone response" from nine policing centres across the two counties and Dorset.

The force began trialing drones in November 2015 to test their operational effectiveness.

Around 21 police forces in the UK are thought to use drones. Credit: PA

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for drones, said forces were "committed to embracing new technologies to deliver high-quality, cost- effective services and protection to the public.

"Drones are one of a number of options that can deliver air support both now and in the future.

"They have the potential to change the way we police by working with other technologies and updating traditional methods of foot and aerial patrols.

"Deploying drones is a decision for individual chief constables who ensure that they are used appropriately in the interest of public safety and efficient allocation of police resources."

Around 21 police forces in the UK are thought to be experimenting with drones.

Chief Superintendent Jim Nye, strategic alliance commander for operations in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, said the drones would be a "significant piece of kit", which would provide an "opportunity to improve technology available to police to better do what we do".

Earlier this year, Labour MP Nick Smith said police should consider using drones to track down off-road bikers who are "vandalising" the mountains of Wales.