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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL6676, tabled on 5 April 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many complaints about UAVs have been recorded by (1) the police, and (2) the aviation authorities, in each of the last three years.

Answered on

13 April 2017

The number of complaints about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is not collated across police forces.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) does not maintain a record of all complaints of drone misuse it has received, as in some cases, such as where advice was provided by telephone or where the complainant was referred to the police, records are not kept. Nevertheless, 213 complaints were recorded in 2014, 441 in 2015 and 291 in 2016. The Military Aviation Authority does not hold records of any complaints about UAVs.

The Department for Transport, the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs Council and the CAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 17 May 2016 to identify the roles and responsibilities of the signatories with respect to the investigation and prosecution of drone offences. Under the Memorandum, it is for the Police Service to carry out an assessment of reports of drone misuse and to decide whether or not to investigate; it is for the CAA to investigate and prosecute breach of aerial work permissions or offences relating to aviation safety.