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Drones Used at Protests (1006A/20)


1) That you list the date of West Midlands Police’s use of UAVs/drones in relation to protests or political demonstration type events during 2020, along with the name/type of event covered?

2) That you tell me if West Midlands Police has any policy documents relating to the use of UAVS/drones at public/protest events. Please can I have a copy of the document?

3) Does West Midlands Police have any procedure in place for members of the public to access data/images captured by its UAVs/drones? If so, can you tell me what that procedure is?


Please find our response below with regard to the OVERT use of Drones / Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (UAS).

Question 1)

07/06/20 – Public Protest Coventry

10/06/20 – Public Protest – Edgbaston, Birmingham

28/06/20 – Large Public Gathering – Birmingham

04/07/20 – Public Protest – Birmingham

Question 2)

WMP does not have a policy relating to the use of UAVS/drones at public/protest events.

However, in case it assists, please see link below to national guidance on the generic use of drones.

Question 3)

WMP does not give public access to data/images captured.

In addition, with regard to any information relating to the COVERT use of Drones / Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (UAS), West Midlands Police neither confirms nor denies that it holds any other information relevant to this request by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 23(5) – Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters

Section 24(2) – National security

Section 31(3) – Law enforcement

Section 23 is an absolute class-based exemption and there is no requirement to conduct a harm or public interest test.

Sections 24 and 31 are prejudice based, qualified exemptions and there is a requirement to articulate the harm that would be caused in confirming or denying that any other information is held as well as carrying out a public interest test. Please find this PIT attached (1006A_PIT).

These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:

No inference can be taken from this refusal that any further information relevant to your request does or does not exist.