Increased Police Powers for Drone Misuse

Jun 23, 2021

UK Police have now been given greater powers to clamp down on the irresponsible or illegal use of drones. Specific and dedicated teams have been set up and are tasked with searching out the rule breakers, according to the BBC News website.

Operation Foreverwing was set up by the Home Office, working closely with the police, in March this year. In doing so it stated that police officers will be given "the tools needed to tackle drone misuse". Police can now confiscate drones, that it deems have been flown recklessly, or issue an on-the-spot fine. Specialist equipment and vehicles can also be confiscated.

In early June, a drone operator was fined over £5000 for illegally flying over the MI6 in London.

The new powers are part of a police and Home Office drive to counteract what they see as being a ‘new and developing threat’ of drone misuse.

Any drone which weighs 250 grams or more, or one fitted with a camera, must be registered by the operator, with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). As a minimum, a theory test needs to be taken and passed, before operating that drone.

According to Jonathan Nicholson from the CAA, there have been a number of drone registrations since the system was set up in November 2019, but there are “potentially tens of thousands” still unregistered. At Networx3UAV we go above and beyond the basic safety requirements of the CAA. We will be obtaining an Operating Safety Case (OSC).  This will allow our drone pilots to operate outside the Standard Permissions of the CAA, and additional training and investment has been required to allow us to achieve this.

An additional threat that the police have identified is the use of drones for illegal uses such as transporting drugs to prison inmates.

The police will also be highly vigilant for high profile events happening in the UK this year such as the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November, and the current Euro Football Championship.

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