Drone video technology to join council enforcement teams
COUNCIL officers will soon be able to use drone technology to survey fly tipping sites, investigate planning enforcement breaches and prepare virtual site visits.
Rugby Borough Council’s Cabinet approved the purchase of a quadcopter along with training for officers to use it safely.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet held on Monday (28 June 2021).
Use of the drone will allow officers to survey unsafe buildings, inspect parks and open spaces and investigate environmental crime more quickly and safely. Aerial reconnaissance will allow them to inspect previously inaccessible sites.
Deployment of the drone will comply with CAA regulations. Its use will be monitored for compliance with the Data Protection Act to protect the privacy of residents. Details of how the drone will be used and how privacy will be protected will be published on the council’s website.
Cllr Derek Poole, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Regulation and Safety, said: “Drones can provide a highly efficient and effective mechanism to improve services while reducing costs and health and safety risks.
Activities that previously took days to complete, or areas that were impossible for officers to access, can be surveyed within hours.
“It is important that our communities know how we will use the images we collect, however, so we will publish our deployment policy and details of how we will protect residents’ privacy.”
Purchase of the equipment, licences and training will cost £9,800, with ongoing costs of £2300 in future years. Use of the drone will be funded within existing budgets ensuring there is no net cost to the council.