New police drones to help find missing people

Police Scotland has unveiled two drones it will use to help with searches for missing people.

The two remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) will become operational in Aberdeen and Inverness on May 1.

Used primarily in the search for missing people, they will be able to search large areas and locate a person faster than officers on the ground.

Drones will be used to get an aerial view of locations that are typically difficult to get to.

They will also be available to support local policing incidents and pre-planned operations and events.

Chief Superintendent Matt Richards said: “The addition of the RPAS to our air support capability will ensure we can deliver this service to the north of the country when previously weather or terrain may have prevented or delayed this.

“The RPAS will not replace the Police Scotland helicopter and there will still be occasions where we deploy the helicopter in the north rather than the RPAS.

“We have trained a number of officers to use the RPAS and they will be able to deploy across the north in order to provide valuable support to incidents, events or searches and they are a welcome addition to our air support function.”

The drones will be transported in a marked police vehicle and deployed by officers in uniform.

Where possible, social media will be utilised to make the public aware the RPAS is in the vicinity.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “This state-of-the-art new equipment will help Police Scotland keep communities safe, enhancing their search capabilities for vulnerable people, particularly over wide and challenging terrain.”

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