A Yorkshire police force has announced a new partnership with the fire service in a bid to tackle crime from the skies. Humberside Police will share the DJI Matrice 210 and theDJI Mavic 2 Enterprise dual drones with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to assist with investigations when required.
The force said the collaboration will make sure that a drone is available around the clock for both services.
The drones will be held and operated by the fire service, but will be deployable when needed to the police.
Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson, Head of Humberside Police’s Special Operations Unit, said: “Aerial capabilities are now regularly used in policing operations, and these drones will supplement the support we get from NPAS (National Police Air Service) both in terms of the helicopter and the imminent deployment of fixed wing aircraft.
“We are really excited at being able to complement our capability for all manner of spontaneous incidents such as searching for both missing and wanted people, assisting with rural crime investigations and supporting our firearms officers.
“I am delighted that we can build on the excellent relationship we have with HFRS to develop this capability to serve our communities.”
With high definition cameras and thermal imaging, the drones are able to play back footage to the helicopter pilot and camera operator in real time.
They also have a Mavic high intensity spotlight and a speaker which allows communication from the air with teams on the ground. The drones can go up in nearly all, but the most extreme, of weather conditions.
Liam Plunkett, Group Manager at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “The drones will serve both Humberside Police and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in helping to keep our communities a safer place to live and work.
“In particular, the drones will help to assist in urgent incidents such as mud and water rescues or missing people, spontaneous incidents, helping with fire investigations, or to assist with police requirements.
“Ultimately the capabilities of the acquired drones will help to gather information to assist in our routine operations.”
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said he is pleased to see the collaboration between the force and the fire service and confirmed the two are looking at sharing further services in the future.
Mr Hunter said: “The drone capability will add an extra tool for investigative work, and the technology is state of the art.
“Working alongside the fire service on this venture will benefit both services and the public, and is part of a wider piece of work including looking at sharing buildings and the existing excellent joint fleet service.”