New powers for the police to enforce drone laws

The government has acted to give police forces across the country new powers to tackle the misuse of drones, including powers to land, inspect and seize drones if an offence has been committed and a warrant is secured.

The Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill has its second reading in Parliament on 27 January, with the bill will also granting the Transport Secretary new powers to ensure that airports modernise their airspace, delivering quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys.

Drone users could also face an on the spot fine for certain offences such as failing to provide evidence that they have the correct permissions and exemptions if found to be flying their device too high or too close to buildings, or failing to provide evidence of competency or registration.

The bill will also give the police new stop and search powers around airports, prisons and other restricted areas.

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 drones to cause harm or disruption.”


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