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Hampshire chief constable Alex Marshall says unmanned 'drones' could help fight crime
HAMPSHIRE’S top cop says unmanned “drones” could be used to help officers fight crime on the ground in the near future.
Chief Constable Alex Marshall said that the aircraft, currently used in Afghanistan, can stay in the air longer and would be a cheaper option for forces.
He was speaking ahead of the launch of the new National Police Air Service (NPAS) today, which it is hoped will save millions of pounds.
Mr Marshall, who is leading the scheme for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “We don’t use them in mainstream policing at the moment but they may well offer something for the future.
“They can stay up longer, they’re cheaper and they can do things that you can’t do having people in the air.”
It comes after Hampshire police were forced to ditch their spotter plane, based in Lee-on-the-Solent , to cut costs after it was agreed to merge the county’s air support unit with the Surrey and Sussex forces.
However, Mr Marshall said that while drones could be cost-effective, there was a debate to be had on whether or not people would accept them in the air.
He said: “The public need to find it acceptable and it needs to be within the law.”