Cumbria

Cumbria Police drones to help crime fighting and searches

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Media captionCumbria Police has already used drones to search for people missing in the Lake District

Drones are to be used by a police force to tackle crime.

Cumbria Police has been testing two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and has used them in missing person searches.

The £2,300 drones will send footage to officers controlling the equipment from the ground.

Ch Insp Matt Kennerley said the UAVs could be used in "situations where deploying patrols would put members of the public or officers themselves at risk".

"Previously the only way officers in Cumbria could gain aerial assistance was to call out a police helicopter from the National Police Air Service," he said.

'Shrinking budgets'

"This would not only be a costly resource for the force but it can also be time-consuming.

"With shrinking budgets facing the public sector at the moment it is important that we get the best value that we can and the most appropriate resources used."

The drones are operated from the ground from up to 1,640 ft (500 m) away.

The force has stressed they would not be used for "spying" on people.

Ch Insp Kennerley said the drones provide high definition images and are used in line with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations.

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