Penarth residents accustomed to the almost daily overflights by the National Police Air Service helicopter may – or may not – be reassured to learn they now have a new eye in the sky watching over them.
South Wales Police have been showing off their latest high-tech gizmo – a six-rotor remote control drone .
The drone – equipped with a CCTV camera – is much quieter and considerably cheaper to operate than the police helicopter and has been put through its paces today at a police open day held at St Fagans near Penarth .
South Wales Police have said they intend to use the drone to carry out searches for missing people, policing large-scale events and tackling “anti-social behaviour” – although some might contend that using a drone is, in itself , anti-social.
The South Wales force has now become one of 14 police forces in the UK using drone technology. Its says the drone will give officers the ability to monitor “geographically challenging areas “ . The 10 officers controlling the drone have all had to attain a national Civil Aviation Authority accredited qualifications.
The force will also continue to use its helicopter which costs almost £2,000 an hour to fly.