Since drones were first unveiled it was widely thought that they could be used for more than just taking high altitude shots for a new YouTube video. The New York City Fire Department did this recently by launching a set of custom-built remote-control copters to help firefighters on the ground.

This week two police departments in the UK announced their plans to team up and launch the country’s first 24-hour drone units, which will be used for a variety of situations in Devon, Cornwall Police, and Dorset.

The drone unit will be launched this week after completing an 18-month trial, with a number of officers already ready to deploy the drones when needed.

They will be using a range of DJI’s Inspire drones that have been fitted with thermal imaging and zoom cameras and will be used alongside DJI’s smaller Mavic drone.

The Chief Superintendent Jim Nye, who will lead the new drone unit said that the new technology “offers a highly cost-effective approach in supporting our officers on the ground in operational policing” to Cornwall Live, adding that they will be able to use the drones for a range of situations such as searching for missing people, capturing images from crime scenes and traffic accidents, as well as searching hard to access areas such as coastal and woodland segments of the UK.

They will also be used to “track and monitor suspects during a firearm or terrorist incident, as it will allow officers to gain vital information, quickly [and] safely, and allow us to respond effectively at the scene.”

You can keep track of the progress of the drone unit on their Twitter feed here.

This article may include links to affilates, and if you click on one of these affilate links, we may recieve commission.