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UK: Home Office, CAA, police collaborate to act “on growing drone crime”

By Chris Stonor

The Home Office, Police and UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced this week a new campaign aimed at clamping down on drone-related crimes, after 336 incidents were recorded during the last five months in the UK, reports a CAA press release.

The new campaign, Operation Foreverwing, will see the three organisations work together to show the work the Police is doing around tackling drone crime, in a bid to deter drone owners from breaking the rules and raise awareness of the enforcement work taking place.

The Police has dedicated drone teams located across the country, tasked with enforcing the law by handing out fines and confiscating drones if people fail to stick to the rules.  With the CAA setting the rules for drone flying, the campaign should raise awareness of the rules while reminding those tempted to break them of the consequences.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for counter Drones, Chief Constable Lucy D’Orsi, commented, “The use of drones has increased dramatically in recent years and as a result of that we are seeing instances of dangerous and irresponsible flying.”

She continued, If you are a drone owner it is your responsibility to make sure you are following the rules for your own safety and that of others around you.” Adding, “These rules can be found in the Drone Code on the CAA website.”

UK law now dictates that CAA registration is mandatory for operators of drones over 250 grams and all drones other than toys that are fitted with a camera. Failure to register leaves drone users at risk of penalties up to UKP1,000. The campaign will see more cooperation between the bodies and joint education targeting drone users.

Jonathan Nicholson, Assistant Director of Communications, CAA, said, “With close to 200,000 registered drone owners across the UK, the skies are becoming increasingly busy. Our objective is not to stop people having fun or using their drone for business, it’s to make sure that everyone can share the air safely and that means sticking to the rules outlined in the Drone Code.” He concluded, “Drones can cost thousands of pounds, and with fines for breaking the rules, the costs can quickly add up for those failing to comply.”

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