You may have seen our Facebook post earlier this week about the private investigator in America who openly uses a drone during her investigations. What makes this story interesting to the UK private investigation industry is not only the types of investigations the drones can be useful for, but also how legislation is being formed about their use across the different states.
Types of Drone Investigation
- Remote surveillance of cheating spouses that are meeting out in the open, or places that are difficult to get to without the investigator being conspicuous. It is unlikely that the drone would be able to pick up sound, but they do record who met whom, when and where.
- Checking on your ‘on location’ workforce and ensuring that they are where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there, by using a drone to follow the employee.
- Drones can also be used to catch poachers, however in some states recent law changes means you are not allowed to use your drone in this way.
Legislation in America
- Only ten States have already introduced laws surrounding the use of drones.
- In Iowa evidence of traffic violations cannot be gathered by using drone technology.
- In North Carolina its a minor crime to use this technology to catch people that are hunting or fishing.
- In California they are considering whether it should be illegal if the drone goes over a private property line, probably due to the amount of paparazzi chasing the elusive photo of one of the many superstars that live in the State.
Legislation in the UK
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have issued regulations for the use of drones in the UK. Here we will look at some of those regulations that apply to drones that weigh 20Kgs or less.
- The drone must be handled in a way that means it cannot hurt anyone or their property.
- The person who is in control of the drone must be able to see it at all times with the naked eye.
- You have to use the drone within the spatial guidelines issued by the CAA for example the drone must be at least 30 metres away from any people during take off and landing and they must not fly above 400 feet.
Some believe that the restrictions imposed make the use of drones impractical for an investigation into cheating spouses, however as technology improves they may become a much more important part of the investigators tool kit.
Here at Alpha 1 Legal Services you can be sure that all our investigations into cheating spouses are carried out with the utmost empathy and adherence to the law.