Police warn misuse of drones can be a criminal offence


Luke Matthews

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Police warn misuse of drones can be a criminal offence

People who own drones are being warned that misuse of the technology can be a criminal offence.

Thames Valley Police has said the summer weather increases popularity of the unmanned aerial vehicles and has released guidelines for their use. 

The force added that although drones are not considered unsafe, a ‘minority’ of users continue to fly them irresponsibly.

Police advise:

  • Do not fly the drone above 400ft in altitude or further than 500 metres away from you horizontally
  • If you wish to fly one that exceeds the limits above, you will need to seek permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
  • Avoid flying it within 150 metres of a congested area, or 50 metres of a person or vehicle
  • Use your common sense and fly safely, making sure you can see the drone at all times
  • If you are using one with a camera, make sure you inform people before you start recording and be aware of your surroundings

Breaching certain drone regulations will be investigated by Thames Valley Police, which said although it would not look to criminalise people for innocent misuse, other action may be taken.  
More information is available on the CAA website.


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