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Essex Police give drone training to other forces

Posted 16 January 2019 · Add Comment

Essex Police drone operators have delivered specialist training to help other forces with operations at crime scenes, collisions, incidents and at large events.

Courtesy Essex Police

Essex Police are the national lead for drone training with 59 officers and staff qualified as drone pilots.

Its expertise has enabled it to provide training to 174 policing colleagues from other police forces, helping them to be more innovative while providing financial benefits.

Last month two officers from the Metropolitan Police Service, a crime scene investigator and volunteer, completed a course held in Boreham, Essex.

This gives them the opportunity to create 2D maps and 3D models generating calculations and measurements for many reasons – be it preparation for operations for a large festival or providing evidence following a fatal collision.

Perran Bonner, Essex Police’s drone manager, said: “Drones provide many great opportunities and we are training more people than ever to use them. This could be to help gather evidence and forensics, to help plan in detail ahead of a large event or demonstration and to assist in the search of missing people.

“They are innovative and many emergency service colleagues are seeing the operational benefits of using them.

“Drones allow us to gather imagery and evidence close to scenes that present complicated challenges using conventional methods or in areas that cannot be accessed by police helicopters.

“They are effective and efficient and we’ve had successful charges and prosecutions thanks to drone based evidence.

“However, the drone is simply a fantastic tool and what they need is highly skilled operators who are able to control them whilst understanding and interpreting post flight data and imagery. That’s where our training is massively beneficial.

“It’s not just policing partners who we provide assistance and training to. We have worked closely with partners such as RNLI, Urban Search and Rescue, HM Coastguard and UK Border Force to help give extra training or operational assistance within for search and rescue operations.”

Essex Police is the first emergency service to deliver training that encompasses a National Occupational Standard registered qualification, at Levels 3 and 4 with Skills for Justice. The data skills are taught utilising industry leading Pix4D software developed in Switzerland.

The force has a fleet of 14 drones that have different specialities, some for indoor use, others for outdoor use and some for heavy endurance with heat sensors.



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