Use of Drones
Use of drones in the Kidderminster Area
The ICO recommends that users of drones - also called unmanned aerial
systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - with cameras should
operate them in a responsible way to respect the privacy of others.
Are drones covered by the Data Protection Act (DPA)?
If a drone has a camera, its use has the potential to be covered by the DPA.
Is it OK to use drones with cameras?
If you are using a drone with a camera, there could be a privacy risk to other
people. Follow our tips below to help ensure you respect people's privacy
when using your drone.
How can I use my drone responsibly?
Tips on responsible use of drones:
• Let people know before you start recording. In some scenarios
this is going to be quite easy because you will know everyone within close
view (for example, if you are taking a group photo at a family barbeque). In
other scenarios, for example at the beach or the park, this is going to be
much more difficult so you'll need to apply some common sense before you
• Consider your surroundings. If you are recording images beyond
your home, a drone may intrude on the privacy of others where they expect
their privacy to be respected (such as in their back garden). It is unlikely
that you would want a drone to be hovering outside your window so be
considerate to others and don't hover outside theirs.
• Get to know your camera first. It is a good idea to get to know the
capability of your camera in a controlled situation to understand how it
works. What is the quality of the image? How powerful is the zoom? Can you
control when it starts and stops recording? Drone cameras are capable of
taking unusual and creative pictures from original vantage points. Knowing
the capabilities of your camera will help you to reduce the risk of privacy
• Plan your flight. Your drone's battery life is likely to be short. By
understanding its capabilities you will be able to make best use of its flight
and it will be easier to plan how to avoid invading the privacy of other
people. For example, it may be more privacy-friendly to launch from a
different location rather than flying close to other people or their property.
• Keep you and your drone in view. You won't want to lose it, and if
you are clearly visible then it will be easier for members of the public to know
that you are the person responsible for the drone.
• Think before sharing. Once your drone has landed, think carefully
about who's going to be looking at the images, particularly if you're thinking
about posting them on social media. Avoid sharing images that could have
unfair or harmful consequences. Apply the same common sense approach
that you would with images or video recorded by a smartphone or digital
• Keep the images safe. The images you have taken may be saved on
an SD card or USB drive attached to the drone or the camera. If they are not
necessary, then don't keep them. If you do want to keep them, then make
sure they are kept in a safe place.
Other laws that protect individuals from harassment may apply when using
your drone. It is worth checking which laws you need to be aware of before
you fly your drone to avoid any unexpected complaints or disputes.
The safe use of drones is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. For
guidance about this, see UAS on the Civil Aviation Authority website.
Can I use my drone for work?
As with personal use, if you are using your drone for a more formal,
professional purpose, then it is important that you understand your legal
obligations as a data controller as the situation will be different.
For more information, read the CCTV code (for organisations), which has a
section about drones (referred to as UAS in the code).
Information obtained from the Information Commissioners Office
Open Water Safety
Open Water Safety
West Mercia Police encourage people to stay safe when in or near open water and highlight the hazards associated with it.
Drowning Prevention Week 12-19 June 2020. Download the RLSS UK's free water safety resources here https://www.rlss.org.uk/drowning-prevention-week. #EnjoyWaterSafely #BeALifesaver #DPW.
Every year, and in particular during the warmer summer months, the police receive reports of people jumping into rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs and quarries, and getting into difficulty.
Some people have been successfully rescued but tragically a number have lost their lives. According to the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) 85 per cent of accidental drownings happen in open water, often due to a lack of understanding or awareness of the dangers at such locations.
There is also a misconception that such tragedies usually involve people who are poor swimmers. In fact the shock of sudden cold water immersion or inhalation can cause instant death due to a condition known as vagal inhibition or 'reflex cardiac arrest'.
This has been attributed as a cause of cold water deaths and can affect the strongest of swimmers and the fittest of people.
However you don't have to go swimming or paddling to be at risk. The RLSS UK says that the largest proportion of drownings in the UK involve people walking or running next to open water.
Anyone using open water or near it needs to be aware of hazards and other risk factors including:
• Injury if jumping or diving into water which is shallower than it appears
• Deeper water than expected, which can increase the risk of drowning if you get into difficulty
• Cold temperatures, particularly in deeper water, which can make swimming difficult and make it harder to get out
• Open water can be very cold even on a hot summer's day, leading to cramp and breathing difficulties
• River banks can be unstable and liable to collapse if you get too close to the edge
• If you are in the water the loose and slippery sides of quarries and banks can make if difficult to climb out
• There may be hidden obstacles or objects under the surface which could trap a person or cause injury
• Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away and they may be present even when the surface looks calm
• It is often difficult for the emergency services to access open water sites such as quarries and riverbanks off the beaten track.
Top Tips To Stay Safe:
It is clear from all of the above that everyone needs to take extra care when in or near open water and to adhere to the following safety advice:
• Take notice of warning and guidance signs - water conditions are constantly changing
• Swim parallel with the shore, rather than away from it, and avoid drifting in currents
• Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold
• Alcohol and swimming should never be mixed
• If walking or running keep away from the water's edge and supervise youngsters at all times
• Don't use airbeds at open locations where they may be carried into deeper water and may not stay afloat
• Don't swim near weirs, locks, pipes and sluices
• Only enter water where there is adequate supervision and rescue cover
• Wear recommended safety equipment - for example life jackets/helmets for canoeing
• Don't jump/dive into open water unless you are sure of the depth and that there are no submerged hazards
• Getting trained in first aid, rescue and resuscitation techniques could save a life
• Ensure children know how to swim and that they do not enter the water alone.
Water Safety Links:
Royal Life Saving Society UK
The drowning prevention charity is the UK's leading provider of water safety and drowning prevention education. For more information about RLSS UK: Visit rlss.org.uk, follow on Twitter - @RLSSUK; visit Facebook page - facebook.com/RLSSUK or call - 0300 323 0096.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Funded by charitable donations the RNLI has saved at least 140,000 lives at sea since 1824 and is another good source of water safety information.
The Royal Society For the Prevention Of Accidents
More information on water safety can be found on the website of RoSPA, a charity dedicated to saving lives and reducing injury which was founded more than a century ago.