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What the Police Can Now Do About Drones


This is the final part of the new drone regulations concerning Police Powers that came into force in November 2019.

We covered these regulations in one of our earlier posts “UK CAA Drone Registration Scheme 2019” so if you want to refresh you memory click on the link.

The government has now acted to give police forces across the country new powers to tackle the misuse of unmanned aircraft, including drones, as the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill had its second reading in Parliament on the 27 January 2020.

The legislation will give the police new powers to land, inspect and seize drones if an offence has been committed and a warrant is secured.

Drone users could also face an on the spot fine for certain offences such as failing to provide evidence that they have the correct permissions and exemptions if found to be flying their device too high or too close to buildings, or failing to provide evidence of competency or registration.

Transport Minister Baroness Vere said:

Drones have incredible potential, whether that’s by transforming how we move goods around or saving lives in search and rescue missions.

Most people using drones want to do so responsibly, and we encourage them to familiarise themselves with the law.

We are confident these police powers will be used proportionately to both deter careless drone use and to tackle serious, malicious criminal activity.

The bill will also give the police new stop and search powers around airports, prisons and other restricted areas. It will amend the Police Act 1997 to allow the police and senior prison authorities to authorise the use of counter-drone measures to combat illegal drone use.

This is just the latest action from government to ensure drones and other unmanned aircraft are used safely and responsibly. I

n October 2019, the government published its Counter-drone strategy and in November 2019 it became mandatory for operators of small unmanned aircraft to register themselves and take an online competency test.

To date 80,000 operators have registered their drones

Security Minister Brandon Lewis said:

This bill is a vital part of the government’s strategy to tackle the illegitimate use of drones and protect the UK’s growing drone industry.

For the UK to establish itself as a global leader in this exciting technology it is vital that police have the powers to crack down on those who intend to use drones to cause harm or disruption.

On our half day drone flying course we now include for the students to take their online competency test after they have been through our drone safety briefing and review of the current UK drone regulations.

This is also covered in detail in our online drone training course which can be purchased on this website.  It is good to now see the UK government promoting safe drone operation and basic drone training for all drone operators.


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