Police tell drone pilots to stop flying too close to London’s landmarks

As number of people with drones increases, so does danger of a serious incident, say police

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 06 January 2015 12:13 GMT
People could face prosecution for flying drones dangerously
People could face prosecution for flying drones dangerously (PA)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Scotland Yard has warned drone pilots about illegally flying them near London landmarks, amid increasing evidence that drones are being used to harass and spy on people.

The drones are being flown over public events like football matches and can be dangerous if flown too close to people, police have said.

Drones are not allowed to fly within 150 metres of a congested area, or within 50 metres of buildings not owned by their operator. Other areas such as airports have exclusion zones around them.

That can be extra dangerous in London, where drones have been reported flying at the same level as low-flying helicopters.

The drones were one of the must have presents this Christmas, but the rising popularity has brought with it an increased number of dangerous incidents involving the flying machines.

Chief Inspector Nick Aldworth, of the Met’s Specialist Operations unit, told the Evening Standard: “I compare them to cars. They are perfectly legal to own but it is very easy to break the laws when you are driving.”

The news comes in the wake of spectacular drone images of landmarks including the Shard, as well as more officially taken ones like one taken of the Tower of London poppies.

A drone almost crashed into a plane at Heathrow in July, investigators have said, and could crash into power lines and damage the electrical grid.

Aviation authorities have been giving out advice to those receiving new drones for Christmas, to try and ensure that they are used safely

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in