London police using drone to hunt for weapons and cannabis factories

The Met has loaned the drone from a neighbouring force (police handout)

The Met has loaned the drone from a neighbouring force (police handout)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Police in London are to use a drone to identify cannabis factories and conduct weapon sweeps.

The drone will also be used to search for high-risk missing people, examine major traffic collisions and hunt for suspects during an eight-week trial by the Metropolitan Police, which begins today (September 11).

In addition to its primary functions, the unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, will offer aerial support to firearms operations and provide live footage of operational deployments.

The device, an Aeryon Skyranger, is being loaned to the Met by Sussex Police. A statement from the force says it's core functions will be similar to those of a police helicopter, but its small size gives it extra variety and will allow it to enter areas beyond the helicopter's reach.

A comprehensive analysis of the trial will take place at the end of the eight-week trial period.

Commander Simon Bray said drones "are already being used by police forces across the UK; the MPS currently owns one for examining crime scenes.

"We are committed to working with technology that can assist our officers with the wide range of often difficult and dangerous incidents they deal with on a daily basis.

"Today we are starting an eight-week trial of the drone, which we hope will assist officers with both day-to-day policing and complex pre-planned operations."