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UK government to establish mobile counter-drone unit to protect critical infrastructure

The UK Government has announced plans to develop a new mobile counter-drone unit to be deployed to drone-related incidents and major events across the UK, as part of the government’s ‘Counter-Drone’ strategy.

The Government says that the strategy ‘will ensure individuals, businesses and emergency services in the UK can continue to harness the economic and social benefits of drones, while cracking down on misuse and disruption’.

The mobile counter-drone unit will be created, containing detection and disruption equipment, which can be deployed by police and other emergency responders to rapidly respond to drone incidents across the UK.

Security Minister Brandon Lewis said:

“This government is proud of the UK’s burgeoning drone industry and we will do all that we can to ensure that the UK firmly establishes itself as a world leader in this industry.

“But to ensure the drone industry can thrive in this country we must be able to crack down effectively on those who would use drones to cause harm or disruption.

“There is no silver bullet to help protect our infrastructure and our citizens from malicious or careless drone use. That’s why this Strategy outlines a broad range of work to ensure we can effectively tackle the threat.”

Transport Minister Baroness Vere said:

“Unmanned aircraft, including drones, could transform how we move people and goods, boost our economy and even save lives. Unfortunately, they can be, and have been, used recklessly at airports and in our skies.
The UK has been at the forefront in tackling the malicious use of unmanned aircraft. This strategy, alongside existing and planned legislation, will let us tap into the benefits of this technology while helping keep people safe both in the air and on the ground.”

The Counter-Drone strategy also includes:

  • An Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill, which will give police increased powers to tackle illegal drone use;
  • A new national standard for police recording of illegal drone activity to help build a picture of the drone threat;
  • National guidance for police to assist them during malicious drone incidents;
  • The government’s ongoing work with industry to research and test the latest counter drone equipment so that police across the country are able to respond to threats – building on the work already done across government;
  • Over the next 3 years, the government will work with partners to compile a catalogue of approved counter-drone technology to assure police and the owners and operators of critical national infrastructure sites that they are investing in the most effective and appropriate technology;
  • A government communications campaign to educate the general public and continue to encourage safe drone use.


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