Thurrock Council said drones will put the council in a better position to catch criminals.

The claims comes after it revealed it will use technology to crack down on crooks destroying the borough's environment.

It comes a month after drones caused havoc at London airports, grounding flights and bringing airports to a stand-still, however Thurrock Council is sure the technology will aid in the fight to catch criminals destroying the environment.

The council is very keen to use aerial imagery to help in tackling environmental crime in Thurrock.

The council will use the drones, otherwise known as unmanned aerial systems (UAS), to assist with crime prevention and to investigate crimes, as well as for site surveys and other appropriate aerial photography work.

All drone flights will be risk assessed, follow strict Civil Aviation Authority-approved procedures and be operated by qualified UAS pilots. Strict controls will also be in place to protect the safety and privacy of residents.

Rob Gledhill, leader of Thurrock Council, said: “Thurrock is a great place to live and work, and we have been very clear that we will not tolerate crimes that blight our borough.

“We are already taking strong action against the culprits. By adding drones to our armoury, we will be in an even better position to capture the evidence needed to prosecute, particularly where sites are difficult to access from the ground.

“We recognise there may be some concerns from residents, however it is important to emphasise that this is about investigating and prosecuting those who break the law.

“Other councils are already successfully using drones and any recordings not relevant to the purpose of the flight will be securely destroyed.”

It is hoped the use of drones will help to catch and prevent issues such as flytipping across the borough.

In the days leading to Christmas, multiple drone sightings caused flights to be grounded for three days at London airports.

More than 10,000 passengers suffered severe delays after the suspected deliberate drone attack on Gatwick Airport.

Flights in and out of the airport were suspended and days later Heathrow was also targeted by drones.

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