Louth

Police drone helps find missing man with dementia

Drones continue to prove a valuable tool for Lincolnshire Police and last night they assisted in finding a vulnerable missing man.

A man with dementia in his mid-70s went missing from a care home near Louth on Thursday, October 4 and within 20 minutes police were called before officers with drones were deployed.

The man carried a GPS tracking device due to having dementia and after an hour and a half to two hours the man was successfully found by an officer on the ground after drones had helped to pinpoint the location.

Video footage from the police drone shows a local farmer who is guided in to the finding officer and he later assisted in transporting the man back to his care home, which the force say they are very grateful for.

Drone Manager at Lincolnshire Police Ed Delderfield.

Ed Delderfield, who is Drone Manager at Lincolnshire Police and a response and patrol inspector in Louth, told Lincolnshire Reporter : “Essentially the drones are a fixed area search tool, so we have a defined search area we can look and assess each case on its merit.

“Drones have helped with two direct finds in Lincolnshire so far this year and have helped save officers time as we can clear vast areas and discount places rather than officers having to be on foot.”

“The fact we have the drones in the rear of patrol cars rather than on a call-out basis means we can be on scene very quickly and a lot of the time it can be a deciding factor on how effective they can be. In this case it was valuable.”

Ed spent six years with West Midlands Police before transferring over to the Lincolnshire force in 2008 and he is proud of the progress his team has made since becoming Drone Manager in March 2017.

He added: “The team of officers is small of 12. We have been learning to use the technology, refining search techniques and how to interpret what we see, so we are getting more out of it and things have improved no end.

“We are very lucky in this county to have a population pro police and we have proved time and time again how valuable the drones are. We only use it for good and have had an overwhelming positive reaction.”

Last month Lincolnshire Police sent out a force drone and an NPAS helicopter for a search for missing man Stuart Hurst, who was later found.