Hertfordshire police and fire service have jointly purchased an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to help locate missing people, monitor minor incidents, and photograph crime scenes.
The Sky Mantis UAV, from emergency response drone manufacturer Evolve Dynamics, will be deployed by Hertfordshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS). The UAV will be operated by HFRS officers in Potters Bar who have received specialist training.
It is an upgrade on the partnership’s current UAV, which the partnership said has been used to save several lives during searches for vulnerable people.
Charlie Hall, chief constable for Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “The capacity of this new drone is very impressive and it promises to be an invaluable asset to those colleagues working on the ground.
“As technology continues to improve, drones are becoming an increasingly important asset to policing, for example assisting missing person searches or aerial photography of crime scenes.”
The Sky Mantis, which features two HD 30X zoom cameras with thermal imaging capability, will be able to be used across the county. The UAV can reach an altitude of 100m and be operated from 400m away.
According to the collaboration, the UAV operates in all weathers and can be used for an hour at a time. It has been used in training exercises at Hertfordshire Constabulary’s headquarters in Stanborough, Welwyn Garden City, where HFRS has recently moved its senior officers to.
Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner, David Lloyd explained the new UAV is an example of how close collaboration between the two emergency services can help keep the people of Hertfordshire safer.
“There are clear benefits of closer integration between our blue light services and we have established a strong partnership with Hertfordshire County Council to continue to make this ambitious programme happen,” said Lloyd.