CHESHIRE Police have announced the launch of a new drone.

The Matrice 300RTK drone, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle, will be a ‘useful and powerful tool to support officers’ after officially taking to the skies for the first time on Monday, August 24.

Three police officers and a sergeant have been recruited and trained in order to form the force’s drone support unit.

Using the technology, they will be deployed to assist with searches for missing and wanted people and identify cannabis farms.

The drone will also be used for aerial imagery as part of crime scene investigations, during protests and disorder and for event planning.

Chief inspector Gareth Wrigley said: “A few short months ago the unit formed, and the team have been working hard to get to this point where the drone can officially take to the skies to assist with frontline policing.

“I want to reassure the public that the drone will not be used for general surveillance and will only be used for incidents and operations.

“Having drone capability will make a huge difference in the way we protect vulnerable people and gather critical evidence at scenes.

“This is a really exciting time for the constabulary which will increase our tactical options to help make Cheshire even safer."

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane added: “Police currently use the National Air Support Service for all its aerial requirements such as search and photography.

“Although manned aircraft will always be required for some operational activities, there are opportunities such as when aerial photography alone is required that drones would be more suitable, quicker to deploy and more cost-effective.

“The drone will bring huge benefits to frontline policing in Cheshire, and I am really pleased that the force is now in a position to start using the drones on a day-to-day basis to help keep the public of Cheshire safe.”