Drones deployed to tackle illegal activity on Salisbury Plain

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

The military are using drones to crackdown on an increase in illegal activity on Salisbury Plain.

The drones have already been used to capture evidence of motorcyclists in restricted areas and fines are being issued for persistent offenders.

The Army says off-road motorbikes being driven on Salisbury Plain has increased.

It says this kind of activity forces the Army to cancel their training until the area is clear. 

Lt Col Kev Cammack of Salisbury Plain says: "It's a piece of technology that gives us brilliant situational awareness, over the hill, round the corner type of technology.  It allows us to stand off from a potentially threatening encounter and it allows us to better access a situation before we go into it."

Click the video to listen to the warning message from the drone:

Red flags indicate when some parts are closed to the public, but training exercises show what is typical every day, where dog walkers ignore the flags and the warning signs.

Since their deployment six months ago, the drones have resulted in more than 200 fixed penalty notices being issued by the MoD police.

Off-road motorbike activity can halt the army's training exercises.

Sgt Alan Swanwick says: "You can see these police cars from a long way away, motorcycles will disappear in a heartbeat, the drone gathers the information and we can act on that."