Victoria Police launched a dedicated drone unit to help keep the community safe and solve crime with the support of the Victorian government.

Acting Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville today joined Victoria Police to unveil the new technology at Essendon Airport in what marks a new era of policing for Victoria.

“As technology and crime-fighting evolves, Victoria Police are using specialist drones to help keep the community safe, catch criminals and solve crime,” Minister Neville said.

The unmanned aerial drones will be used by Victoria Police to support a wide range of police operations, map crime scenes and provide search and rescue support.

The drones can be used during the day and at night for a range of operations, including forensically documenting crime scenes to capture footage from all angles with millimetre precision.

These eyes in the sky can also be used in emergency management situations as a communication tool, or provide first aid, food and water to people in hard-to-reach areas, such as rooftops, cliff faces or mineshafts.

“Every second counts during emergency incidents – these drones can be rapidly deployed and provide police with the speed and flexibility they need,” Neville said.

The police expect to have at least 50 drones available over the next year. Around 70 specialist operators will also be trained across the state.

The new drone unit will have the ability to deploy highly-specialised, metropolitan-based drones, while at the same time managing all compliance requirements by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

The technology will also provide police in regional Victoria with greater flexibility, and assist them to look for and assess stolen property, drugs and missing people.

The Drone Unit will be supported by five additional positions in the Air Wing. as part of the Victorian government’s record investment in Victoria Police, including an extra 3,135 police officers.

The new positions will be fast-tracked from the 2020-21 allocation of new police to allow this new capability to start immediately.

The new unit is part of the current Victorian government’s investment in a new, modernised air wing fleet to provide police with the tools they need to keep the community safe, both on the ground and in the sky.

Video: Sky News | Youtube

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