An innovative new drone surveillance training course for organisations intending to use drones for public space surveillance has been launched by Belfast-based Crowd Management Academy.
Linking up with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved commercial drone operator Crowded Space Drones, the tailored drone surveillance training course allows candidates to complete the HABC Level 2 Award for Working as a CCTV Operator (Public Space Surveillance) within the Private Security Industry (QCF), which in turn allows them to obtain an SIA Public Space Surveillance (PSS) licence.
An SIA licence must be obtained for any organisation operating cameras in public spaces for the purposes of protection of people and property, public safety, security, crime prevention or crime detection.
Under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 any person who undertakes surveillance of public space for the purposes of security, crime detection of crime prevention under contract must hold an SIA PSS licence. Those who are using existing fixed cameras to protect their own property or employer’s property are exempt.
Andrew McQuillan, a CAA approved Drone Pilot, said, ‘Unmanned Aircraft, aka drones, are becoming more widespread in their use across the United Kingdom and indeed globally. There are so many different tasks that drones are able to do safer, cheaper and more reliably. When a drone pilot is flying they for the purposes of security, public safety or crime prevention and detection for a client, they should recognise that the cameras attached to their drone turn it into a form of CCTV camera. This is a really positive thing as it means pilots can replace existing CCTV cameras which are geographically and height restricted by where they are mounted’.
He added, ‘This joint drone surveillance training course has been designed to ensure drone pilots comply with the Private Security Industry Act and other important legislation covering these types of flights such as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and Air Navigation Order. It should also make them much more competitive in this business as they can specifically target organisations who require such services such as private investigators and public authorities’.
The first course took place in early May at DronePort, Northern Ireland, the UK and Ireland’s dedicated drone airport and the former site of RAF Ballykelly.