Drones have been used 13 times in last 2 years

A police drone in action.

A police drone in action.

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Drones were used in support of police operations in the Londonderry area 13 times between June 2013 and October this year, according to PSNI logs.

Mostly deployed in support of District policing, they were also used in search operations.

At the start of the year the Sentinel reported how police had nine drones and twelve members of the force’s staff were trained to operate them.

Now the paper can add that police used Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) six times in support of District police as recently as October.

They were used twice for a search operation in September.

In 2014 they were used three times in support of District police.

And in November 2013 they were used twice for the same purpose.

The PSNI, releasing the information, refused to provide any greater detail with regard to the local requirement for drone support.

But each of the months cited above, when drones were deployed in support of District police, featured bomb attacks in Londonderry: October 2015, the Waterfoot bomb; April 2014, the Talbot Park booby-trap device; and November 2013, the Ballymagroarty proxy bus bomb incident.
However, there is no detail on whether or not the drones were deployed in support of police responses to these incidents.

The figures relate to G District, which has since been broken up but includes the new Londonderry and Strabane District and Limavady and Magherafelt.

The police confirmed it has three micro craft, three small craft and three vertical landing and take-off quadcopters.