Coronavirus: Northamptonshire Police could use drones

Image caption,
Mr Adderley said he would consider deploying officers in supermarkets

Drones could be used by a police force to distribute public information messages to help with enforcement during the coronavirus crisis.

Northamptonshire Police chief constable Nick Adderley said he planned to increase the force's number of drones from two to eight.

Mr Adderley said he would also consider putting police officers in supermarkets to deal with stockpiling.

He said using drones would be a "cost-effective way" to pass on information.

They would be equipped with speakers in order for them to transmit messages to the public.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Adderley said the drones could also be used to survey hotspots where people were not obeying the law if an enforced lockdown came into place.

As part of the Coronavirus Bill - expected to pass through the House of Commons on Monday - police will be given new emergency powers to help them guarantee public safety and maintain law and order.

Mr Adderley said if supermarkets asked for help dealing with panic buying, "then we will provide that".

He said: "We cannot have a situation where the vulnerable are unable to get food."

Asked about the prospect of using extra powers to put under house arrest anyone who disobeyed orders to self-isolate, he said such a move "is not a reality".

"We don't want police officers rolling on the floor with pensioners who will not go home," he said.

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