Thursday, November 26, 2020

Queensland police recruit drones in forensic first

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Michael Whyte
Crime Scene Officer and Fingerprint Expert with over 12 years experience in Crime Scene Investigation and Latent Print Analysis. The opinions or assertions contained on this site are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as those of any professional organisation or policing body.
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In an Australian-first, Queensland Police will deploy drones to help document crime scenes.

Two Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) have been assigned to the QPS Photographics Section, ready to be sent anywhere in Queensland.

They were officially launched on Thursday although one was first used after the fatal house fire at Beenleigh on May 14.

Police Minister Jo-Anne Miller said the drones will allow forensic investigators to survey crime scenes from overhead for the first time.

“The images the drones can capture will be invaluable when it comes to presenting evidence in court,” she said.

Police forensics drone in action. Photo: Queensland Police

“The drones will also be used in the forensic search for evidence in places that were previously inaccessible – for example, on a roof, down a cliff or over a very large distance.”

Costing more than $23,000, the drones are made of carbon fibre, with one fitted with four motors and the other eight motors.

“Both drones are fitted with high resolution cameras capable of capturing stills, videos and 3D images,” Ms Miller said.

“They have now been integrated into the Forensic Services Group as business as usual, meaning they are now available to officers to search challenging crime scenes.”

The QPS began investigating options for the use of RPAs in 2010 and was granted formal approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in December 2013.

Sergeant Clint Hanson from the Photographic Section completed CASA training in December 2014 in order to pilot the drones.

Source: Brisbane Times

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