Wednesday 24 July 2024
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Nottingham

Police drone locates vulnerable elderly woman missing from home

A vulnerable missing Nottinghamshire woman was found on a cold and dark night with help from a police drone pilot.

The woman, aged in her seventies, was reported missing from the Huthwaite area and was deemed to be at high risk of harm.

With cold weather and darkness setting in, officers focussed their search near Brierley Forest Golf Club.

A drone operator began a search of the area using a thermal imaging camera and was soon able to identify a heat source near a wooded area.

Officers on the ground were then directed to the scene and found the woman safe and well on the evening of 29 February.

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Sergeant Vince Saunders, chief drone pilot at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was another excellent example of how effective our drones can be at finding missing people in time critical situations.

“With darkness setting in along with cold and rain it was imperative that we found this lady as soon as possible.

“By getting a three dimensional view of a search area like this we are quickly able to rule out very large areas where a person isn’t – before honing on specific locations of interest.

“Obviously that would take a very long time for officers to do on the ground so the time savings of using a drone are huge.

“I am pleased we were able to support our colleagues on the ground so well and that this lady was returned to her family.”

Nottinghamshire Police’s drones team provides 24/7 cover for emergencies and is also on hand to support pre-planned operations.

The drones are piloted by trained officers who volunteer for shifts alongside their other policing duties.

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