Police can now see cannabis growing in people’s homes thanks to drones.
The winter weather means thermal images are easier to see from above, and police used drones earlier this year to track down a suspected cannabis factory.
Drone pictures from the operation clearly show the centre bungalow.
It was the first time drone footage helped secure a successful prosecution, which saw Mark Lovell, 54, sentenced to three years in prison.
As the temperatures at night begin to drop, it enhances at thermal imaging capability. Here are three identical properties photographed by us in February this year, following information from the public about a suspected cannabis factory. The centre bungalow shows up easily. pic.twitter.com/tYChNEJz0p
— Lincolnshire Police Drones (@lincsCOPter) November 19, 2018
Inspector Ed Delderfield, Lincolnshire Police, said: “We had received information that this man was potentially growing cannabis and we knew that he had done so before.
“Where this man lived was surrounded by trees and bushes, so it was actually like a compound. Our intelligence officers spoke with our drone operators and asked if our drone’s thermal imaging could help – we agreed this could work and started our operation at 2am one morning.
“We turned up and flew the drone 400ft across an open field, before hovering 50m from the property. The heat source was obvious and we scrolled through our different filters to highlight the ‘heat’ in a number of different spectrums. The filming from the drone took one minute and 20 seconds, and it was only in the air for five minutes from start to finish.
“From here we passed the footage on to the investigating team who used this to get a court warrant for the first time in Lincolnshire.
“It was great to be able to show this evidence in court as it provides a visual that couldn’t really have been done in any other way.
“We have 10 drone operators within Lincolnshire Police and we are all ecstatic with this result and it is a vindication of the support we have had from our Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable to get this successful prosecution.”