The Joint Operations Unit of Thames Valley Police (TVP) and Hampshire Constabulary will be carrying out a pilot to test the capability of drones in policing in the two force areas.
This proof of concept trial involves the drones being operated around Hampshire and the Thames Valley where 34 Drone operators have been trained for use.
Both forces will have three drones at their disposal during the trial and will practice using them in a number of reactive and pre-planned situations in mid-August.
The purpose for the drones is to be used in a variety of incidents like searching for missing people, responding to major incidents, capturing aerial crime scene imagery, at road traffic collisions, large public events and other policing operations.
The drones are made by the aircraft manufacturer Yuneec International. They are a six-engine model with high definition, optical and thermal imaging cameras and can be flown up to a maximum height of 400 ft under CAA Regulations.
Assistant Chief Constable David Hardcastle, in charge of the operation, said: “We are launching a proof of concept to look at the effectiveness of using drones as an operational tactic for officers in the two forces.
“We will look at how drones can assist in a variety of overt policing situations with a view to rolling out the use of drones in both forces permanently, should the pilot be a success.
“This is an exciting opportunity for both forces, which will mean officers can get an aerial view of large areas in short periods of time, so their use should really assist with finding offenders suspected of crime or disorder and, missing people in large open expanses or wooded areas, providing live feeds for officers at major incidents or football games and protests and many other applications.
“Both Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary are committed to using technology to fight crime and make the public safer and hopefully the use of drones will be another tool available to do this.”