drone for police and fire service

A new state-of-the-art drone will be used to help police and fire crews tackle crime and incidents in Crewe and Nantwich.

The drone – also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – will be used during a six month trial to assess its capabilities and inform future plans.

The DJI Matrice 210 has a powerful digital camera and a thermal imaging camera.

Three police officers and three firefighters have been trained and accredited to CAA standards to pilot the drone, which will be used to support various operational activities during daylight hours in the trial period.

Drones are being used in 22 other forces across the country and it is expected Cheshire will use it for incidents including:

Searching for missing people
Assisting with public order events
Assess road traffic collisions
Identifying cannabis farms using the thermal imaging camera

It is also hoped it will give real benefits to firefighters when dealing with large scale fires.

The thermal imaging camera will quickly identify heat sources and give firefighters on the ground information they need to fight the fire safely.

The drone will be based at the joint Police and Fire Headquarters in Winsford.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “Police currently use the national Air Support Service (NPAS) for all its aerial requirements such as search and photography.

“Although manned aircraft will always be required for some operational activities, there are opportunities, such as when aerial photography alone is required, that drones could be more suitable, quick to deploy and more cost-effective.

“We have been monitoring the use of drones in other police forces and we think the time is right to test this new piece of equipment out for ourselves.

“This trial will help us to assess the benefits of the system in Cheshire.

“It is also important to stress that the drone will only be used for a specific purpose on operations, and not for general surveillance.

“We are also delighted that we can share the equipment with the Fire Service to ensure the best value for taxpayers in the county.”

Cllr Bob Rudd, chair of the Cheshire Fire Authority, said: “This is an exciting project and should really improve the Service’s ability to tackle large scale fires and road traffic collisions and to help keep our fantastic firefighters safe.

“It is an amazing piece of equipment and demonstrates again both services commitment to the blue light collaboration project.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the outcome of the trial.”


  1. Civic Sid says:

    Expensive toys like this are not the solution to dealing with increasing levels of crime in Cheshire.

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