Police officers are now using drones to target criminals in and around Birmingham.
West Midlands Police officers will now be flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to help patrol a larger area and hunt wanted criminals in the region.
The miniature aircrafts – which are controlled from the ground by trained pilots – promise to help keep residents safe.
Using £28,000 of cash raised from assets seized from convicted criminals, West Midlands Police has purchased three drones and paid for seven officers to be trained to operate them.
The force noted that funds from the Proceeds of Crime Act cannot be used to facilitate more police officers or staff.
Police say the drones will help to scan large areas in a short space of time. They will mainly be used to film crime scenes, provide live feeds from direct major incidents, football games and protests.
Pilots will also be using the tiny aircrafts to hunt criminals hiding in large, hard to reach areas like parkland, canals and tow paths.
The drones will be used in “crime hotspots” and areas where serious incidents have taken place in the past. This will allow cops to capture vital evidence during pre-planned arrests and operations.
The force reassured residents that they are not being used to spy on the general public and are only being “used as an extra resource to target criminals operating in public places.”
In response to a frequently asked question about the noise made from the drones, officers said they are quieter than police helicopters and that the noise is similar to a “large fan”.