Complaints about drones in Wigan rise by 266%

Police have experienced a huge upsuge of complaints about the use of drones in Wigan.

Monday, 21st May 2018, 10:39 am
Updated Monday, 21st May 2018, 10:51 am
Drones surge in Wigan

Data obtained by the Post under the Freedom Of Information Act show that the number of reports made in the borough to officers over the past two years has rocketed by a massive 266 per cent.

Just six calls were made to Greater Manchester Police in 2015 about the remote-controlled aerial cameras, increasing to 14 in 2016 and 22 last year.

So far this year, five calls have been made in Wigan.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Many of the complaints are recorded as “suspicious circumstances” - making up half of the calls received in both 2015 and 2017.

Among the labels given to other calls were “rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour”, “civil disputes”, “road related offence” and “lost/found property/person”.

Chief Insp Nicki Tompsett, from Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan division, said: “We are committed to tackling the issue of drone use in and around Wigan.

“We follow the national guidance which can be found via to ensure the safe use and operation of these devices.”

The figures concerning the level of drone-related calls come as the Government looks at the need for additional regulation, with a bill making its way through Parliament.

The bill will include a compulsory registration for drones weighing in excess of 250 grams and a requirement that drone-flyers take a basic online test to ensure they understand the law and safety of flying drones.

The draft Drone Bill will give police officers the right to order operators to ground drones where necessary.

They will also be able to seize drone parts in order to prove it has been used to commit and offence.

When the bill was announced in November, Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “Drones have great potential and we want to do everything possible to harness the benefits of this technology as it develops.

“But if we are to realise the full potential of this incredibly exciting technology, we have to take steps to stop illegal use of these devices and address safety and privacy concerns.”