Skip to the content

Commissioner questions police forces on drones


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


Drones on bonnets of police car
Image source: Nottinghamshire Police

The biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner has written to police forces in England and Wales with a series of questions over their use drones.

Fraser Sampson said he is seeking to clarify and develop a picture of how police are using uncrewed aerial vehicles, and has asked them to provide the relevant information by the end of this month.

The questions in the letter cover issues such as details of the drones and supporting systems, including makes and models used by the forces and their partner agencies.

This reflects concerns raised in the commissioner’s recent warning about the widespread use of Chinese technology in policy surveillance cameras, and the Government’s efforts to cut the use of equipment made by some Chinese manufacturers in in its estate surveillance systems.

Other questions asked by Sampson include: which ground control stations are used when a police force deploys drones over its area; what mitigations are in place against possible security breaches; what relevant security training is in place; when the technology was introduced; what procedures are in place for updating software, firmware and flight apps; and how often is the use of the capability held to account.

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.