Drones are like the remote control planes and helicopters we had as children. However technology has moved on in leaps and bounds and some models are no longer just toys as they carry recording equipment and can even connect to the internet and download data in real time.
Up until very recently hi-tech drones have been only used by the armed forces and so quite often we only think of them as part of modern military equipment. This week we are going to look at the use of these drones in the private investigation industry.
There are obvious benefits to the investigation industry. A drone that can see the world and also record data will be able to reach places an investigator can’t, for example in a private complex. I hear you ask, why is this important? Well, as investigators we investigate benefit cheats, cheating spouses and a myriad of other fraudsters, it can become difficult to catch them. Drone success stories in America include catching a person who was defrauding an insurance company, who had previously been unable to catch him walking without using a walking stick. The drone gave the investigator visual access inside the fraudsters’ grounds and they recording him chopping wood, not usually an activity that is enjoyed by most physically disabled people. They have also been found to be useful in matrimonial cases where one side has suspected the other of cheating.
There have already been concerns over the use of drones in the UK and it has been decided that the regulatory body in the UK for the use of drones is the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They have already put in place rules in order to ensure public safety and data protection laws are adhered to and in a nutshell:
- The operator must keep the drone in their line of sight. This does not include line of sight that is extended by binoculars for example. Usually it is expected that the line of sight is vertically 121m and horizontally 500m.
- You cannot fly the drone within 50m of a person or structure.
- You cannot fly over places where there are a lot of people for example concerts sporting events or carnivals
- You must be considerate of other vehicles utilising the same airspace. It is also important that you are aware of the no fly zones.
As always, here at Alpha 1 Legal Services you can be sure that should we acquire this hi-tech equipment in order to compliment the service provided by our human personnel we will abide by the current regulations.