Police reminder over drone flying

The Berwick bridges pictured by Ollie Cowgill of Sky Vantage Productions.
The Berwick bridges pictured by Ollie Cowgill of Sky Vantage Productions.

Police are issuing safety advice to all drone users as the devices continue to surge in popularity.

Superintendent Sarah Pitt, from Northumbria Police’s operations department, said: “The public need to be aware that if we identify them as flying in restricted areas then they could be prosecuted.

“Some users don’t realise these types of aircraft are subject to rules and legislation.

“We need to ensure we do our part to keep the public safe and informed.

“You should always keep your drone within your line of sight and always fly your drone away from helicopters, aircraft, airports and airfields; those found violating these rules could face prosecution.

“Flying these types of aircraft within 150 metres of a crowded area is a criminal offence and may infringe air safety legislation.

“Not only could flying drones in the flight paths of aircraft cause major delays, some of which come at a great cost, but it could also put members of the public at risk and it will not be tolerated.”

The warning was welcomed by Berwick-based aerial photography firm, Sky Vantage Productions.

“It’s a massive issue,” said director Ollie Cowgill. “I recently came across someone else taking photos of Berwick at a height over 1,000ft who said they couldn’t see or hear their drone, which is scary. I agree completely with what Northumbria Police has said.

“If people stick to the rules and regulations, they have nothing to worry about. No licensed pilot will have an issue if they are being safe.

“The problem at the moment is that people are looking for the money shot and they can get a fantastic picture from 1,000 feet up whereas, as a licensed drone pilot myself, I can’t go over 400 feet.”