Additional trained drone operators help keep Tasmania safe

Jacquie Petrusma,Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

I am pleased to announce that an additional eight police officers are now trained and certified with CASA to fly remotely piloted aircraft systems (drones) as part of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s plan to keep Tasmanians safe.

The new pilots will be based across the state with 1 at Burnie, 1 at Devonport, 2 in Launceston, 1 at Marine and Rescue Services, 1 at Sorell and 2 in the greater Hobart area.

The additional eight members brings the total crew to 29 remote pilots (26 police officers and 3 State Service employees).

Tasmania Police has been using drones since mid-July 2019 and has carried out more than 680 aerial support operations state-wide using this technology.

There have been a number of successes across Tasmania where offenders in stolen and evading vehicles have been apprehended with drone support, and a number of stolen vehicles have been located in bushland by using drones.

There is increasing operational demand for drones which have become a valuable and vital resource in our fight against crime, searching for missing people and helping make our community safe.

Crash Investigators are also utilising data from drones in the reconstruction of crash scenes and calculating vehicle speeds.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has invested $400,000 since 2018 to Tasmania Police for the purpose of enabling drone technology to be used to assist our police officers in their operational activities.

With the addition of 308 police officers and the significant investment in policing capability, our Government is pleased that Tasmania Police is able to use technology and to train staff in techniques that have a real impact in keeping Tasmanians safe.

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