The miniature aircraft similar to those used in Afghanistan and Iraq could be fitted with cameras and heat seeking equipment allowing police to carry out surveillance operations from a control room.
In its ‘Science and Innovation Strategy’, the Home Office has outlined plans to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) stating that they will support police operations in ‘real time’, provide evidence for prosecution and reduce the risk faced by police officers. The UAVs have the added benefit that they are cheaper to run and are quieter than conventional spotter planes and helicopters.
Government ministers are talking to the Civil Aviation Authority regarding the introductions of UAVs.
The use of UAVs will provoke opposition from a lot of British people who are sceptical of its increasing use of surveillance equipment. There are also safety concerns since some UAVs have previously crashed in use in battlefield situations.