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Police drone helps find suspected plant machinery thieves in Nottinghamshire

Two suspected plant machinery thieves left empty-handed after they were chased away by a police drone.

Police were called to a building site near Bircotes by security guards who spotted the suspects prowling the permitter of the site at around 11.30 pm on Sunday 2 April.

A drone was launched shortly afterwards and soon caught sight of the suspects from more than a quarter of a mile away.

Realising they’d been seen, the suspects fled across open fields and made their escape.

Investigations are ongoing but it is believed the suspects may have been seeking to steal plant machinery and fuel from the site near Snape Lane.

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Sergeant Vince Saunders, the chief pilot at Nottinghamshire Police’s drone team, said:

“This is another great example of the power of our drone technology.

“Security guards on the site suspected people were lurking nearby but were unable to see them through the darkness.

“The pilot in this case was first able to track the suspects down using an infrared camera before moving in for a closer look.

“Along the way, they were able to record some very strong images that will help our investigation moving forward. “

The police drone team, based at police HQ, provide 24/7 cover for emergency deployments and is also on hand to support pre-planned operations.

Nottinghamshire Police has also dedicated additional resources to tackling and preventing rural crime.

Officers in rural areas are now making use of:

  • more marked vehicles with searchlights
  • night vision goggles & thermal imaging goggles
  • farm bio security kits
  • five off-road motorbikes
  • automatic number plate recognition cameras
  • new off-road vehicle stingers
  • and better drone support.

They have also been working with the National Farmers’ Union to gain a better understand of the impact of rural crime on victims.

Inspector Hayley Crawford, District Commander for Bassetlaw, said: “Criminals target our rural communities because they mistakenly believe they are a soft touch.

“As this case demonstrates, this is simply not the case. We are working hard with local partners to provide best possible response to those who travel to our area to commit crime.

“The good news is we now have more officers at our disposal, and more resources than in the recent past, and access to a wide range of specialist equipment to help us do our job.”

Anyone with more information about this incident is asked to call 101 quoting incident 759 of 2 April.

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