Drone makes first UK ‘arrest’ as police catch car thief hiding under bushes
Liz Hull - 12th February 2010
It has been nicknamed the flying saucepan and looks an unlikely weapon in the war against crime.
But yesterday it emerged that a suspected car thief had become the first person to be arrested in Britain thanks to the help of this miniature remote-controlled helicopter.
The Air Robot or drone was deployed by Merseyside police after officers lost the alleged offender who had escaped on foot in thick fog.
Using the device’s on-board camera and thermal-imaging technology, the operator was able to pick up the suspect through his body heat and direct foot patrols to his location.
It led officers to a 16-year-old youth, who was hiding in bushes alongside the Leeds-Liverpool canal, in Litherland, Merseyside.
The drone, which measures 3ft between the tips of its four carbon fibre rotor blades, uses unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology originally designed for military reconnaissance.