UK police get new powers to seize and search naughty drones

New police powers to tackle illegal use of drones New legislation will give police officers the power to land drones, search premises and seize drones and will require users to produce the proper documentation.

Remember the enormous, pre-Christmas chaos those drone sightings caused at London's Gatwick Airport last month?

The ones that put the whole airport on lockdown, delayed roughly 1,000 flights and prompted a lengthy police investigation?

Well, it looks like people have had enough of it. In a tweet on Tuesday morning, the UK government's Department for Transport announced the introduction of new powers for police to seize and search suspicious drones, as well as new airport exclusion zones and safety measures.

The Home Office will also begin to test and evaluate the safe use of a range of counter-drone technology in the UK. This crucial technology will detect drones from flying around sensitive sites, including airports and prisons, and develop a range of options to respond to drones, helping to prevent a repeat of incidents such as that recently experienced at Gatwick.

Important safety proposals being taken forward include better protection for our airports by significantly extending the area around airports and runways in which drones are banned from being flown. This builds on the governmentís changes to the law last year which made it illegal to fly a drone above 400 feet or within 1 kilometre of an airport.

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling made a statement in the House of Commons this evening.

Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg said:

Drones have the potential to bring significant benefits and opportunities, but with the speed of technological advancement comes risk, and safety and security must be our top priorities.

Thatís why we are giving the police powers to deal with those using drones irresponsibly. Along with additional safety measures these will help ensure the potential of this technology is harnessed in a responsible and safe way.

The police will also be able to issue fixed-penalty notices for minor drone offences to ensure immediate and effective enforcement of vital rules. Fines of up to £100 could be given for offences such as failing to comply with a police officer when instructed to land a drone, or not showing their registration to operate a drone

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