misuse of drones
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Under the new Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill, UK police officers have been granted the power to tackle the misuse of drones

The new Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill will allow police to land and seize drones if they are being misused.

On the spot fines

Drones users may also face an on the spot fine if they fail to provide evidence of competency, registration, or permission to be flying their device too high or too close to buildings.

In November 2019 it became mandatory for all operators of small unmanned aircraft to register themselves online and take a competency test.

Stop and search power

Police officers will also be granted new stop and search power around airports, prisons and other restricted areas. The bill will amend the current Police Act of 1997 to enable officers and senior prison authorities to use counter-drone measures to combat misuse drone use.

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.”

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.”


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