1. ITV Report

Wiltshire Police to start drone school

Wiltshire Police has operated a volunteer led drone unit since May 2017. Photo: ITV News

Wiltshire Police has been awarded status as a National Qualified Entity (NQE) by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which gives accreditation for the Force to train and certify drone pilots for the emergency services and members of the public.

Wiltshire will be the second UK police force permitted to train emergency services drone pilots, but the first to also be permitted to train members of the public to fly drones too.

Wiltshire Police has operated a volunteer led drone unit since May 2017.

Special Superintendent Scott Bateman is a jumbo jet pilot in his ‘day job’ and wrote the operations manual for Wiltshire Police drone unit.

We initially trained our six remote pilots with a commercial pilot trainer back in February 2017 and had our operations manual approved by the CAA in May. Our volunteer Special Constabulary pilots have been called to attend incidents and support policing operations more than 300 times since the unit began. Developing the training school to enable us to train more pilots and increase our capacity was the next step.

– Special Superintendent Scott Bateman

We have been using drones to help officers on the ground search for missing people and offenders at large, take aerial photographs of crime scenes and RTCs, and occasionally to support larger policing operations where the ground commanders can really benefit from having an eye in the sky.

– PC Mark Talliss, Specialsit Trainer