NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 25th, 2012.
Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum held an information stall outside the Library in Wrexham at lunchtime yesterday to raise awareness of some of the issues around drones. In reading around it seem there are concerns about how drones are operated and lack of public information out there on them.
Drones are of relevance to Wales and possibly Wrexham as areas of airspace between Aberporth and Epynt is now designated for the testing of drones, with over £16,000,000 spent in Powys to create a drone ‘centre of excellence’. Due to the range of the vehicles it is theoretically possible that North Wales airspace could be used to test them.
We recently read (and had a good debate in the Wrexham.com office) about this article in the Guardian regarding ‘chopping’, where a US pilot changes seats to convert the nationality of a drone for an attack so to see this happen in Wrexham a day later was of interest.
Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum said “In not much more than an hour hundreds of leaflets were distributed and over 50 people signed a petition calling for Britain to ‘Lift the Veil on the Drone War’ “.
Members of Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum will also take part in a protest against Britain’s involvement in drone warfare at RAF Waddington in Lincoln today. They are heading there as the RAF has announced that it will be operating ten rather than the current five armed Reaper drones in Afghanistan and that these will eventually all be controlled from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire rather than from Creech in Nevada as at present.
Police Drone Use
At the launch of the new ‘National Police Air Service’ Police Minister Damian Green referred to drone use by the police should be “like any other piece of police kit”. Up in Liverpool police lost a £13,000 drone in the Mersey a couple of years ago as it crashed landed (BBC report here).
Police in Wales have recently used third party ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ aka drones to help in the search for April Jones in Machynlleth.
We have opened a forum thread to debate Drone use, both for policing and warfare – to take part please click here.