The first 24-hour police drone unit is to be launched, amid fears that forces may have to rely on them because of falling officer numbers.
The ‘flying squad’ will pursue suspects, find missing people and help solve murders. Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, national spokesman on drones, predicted forces across Britain would soon be using them as they are cheaper than helicopters and can perform some duties of bobbies on the beat.
But the move has prompted privacy concerns and warnings that the technology should ‘never be an excuse to cut officers’.
Devon and Cornwall Police has advertised for a drone manager to lead its new dedicated unit, which will be launched in the summer and shared with Dorset.