Police find domestic violence suspect thanks to drone

A man accused of assaulting his parents was arrested less than an hour-and-a-half after being reported thanks to a police drone.

The suspect, who was located in dense woodland, began making his way to officers when he heard the drone looking for him.

Dyfed-Powys Police were called to a house in Carmarthenshire at around 10pm on Wednesday, April 19 to a report of domestic violence. A man was alleged to have assaulted both his mother and father before leaving the home.

Identifying that the wooded area would be difficult to search by foot at night, officers immediately flew a drone over the area. Using thermal imaging, they quickly found the suspect, who was spotted laying on the ground.

Hearing the drone, and seeing the light emitted from it to show officers where he was, the suspect had begun making his way out of the woods towards police. When he got to the officers, they had to help pull him out of the undergrowth as it was so thick.

He was arrested on suspicion of assault and assault causing actual bodily harm and taken to police custody, where he remains.

Chief Inspector Chris Neve said: “This is an excellent use of the drone to assist in the apprehension of a domestic violence suspect who is believed to have inflicted injury on his parents.

“This incident could have involved an extensive and prolonged search, were it not for the use of the drone, which has proved invaluable not only in locating the suspect but in freeing up officers who would otherwise have been searching a vast area of woodland through the night.”

This is just one recent example in which the drone has been hugely successful during an urgent incident. Officers in Carmarthenshire used the drone to find a 10-year-old child who had been reported missing from home, while a team in Pembrokeshire located a domestic abuse perpetrator who was evading police.

*if you’re living with domestic abuse and need support, there are many organisations who can help whether you choose to report it to police or not: Advice about domestic abuse | Dyfed-Powys Police


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