The National Police Air Service (NPAS) has once again carried out “an initial evaluation of remotely piloted aircraft technology” in partnership with Israel-based international defence electronics company Elbit Systems, this time researching the potential uses of its drones for the police.

In doing so it “seeks to explore how this technology might be used to deliver public safety in support of the police forces of England and Wales in future”.NPAS reported that the trial included a series of simulated typical police aviation scenarios currently fulfilled by the existing national fleet of helicopters and aeroplanes in support of the 43 police forces of England and Wales and British Transport Police.

Captain Ollie Dismore, NPAS Director of Flight Operations, said: “Meeting the diverse needs of the police forces of England and Wales requires both flexibility and versatility.”

He said that with continuous advances in UAV capabilities, UK policing seeks to explore the viability of platforms such as these for possible future use in delivering police air support nationally.

“Currently serviced by our national mixed fleet of helicopters and aeroplanes, police forces require us to embrace innovation and make use of advancing technology, including seizing opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint.  This will allow us to continue to make the best use of resources into the future and best ensure public safety.

“If this technology enables us to fulfil our national remit more efficiently and either as or more effectively than with our current assets, then it will be considered as part of a future national police air service fleet.”