Glasgow & West Scotland

Drones ban at Inverkip property in Margaret Fleming case

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Media captionBBC Scotland shot drone footage last week before the ban was imposed

Drones have been banned from flying over a property at the centre of a high profile missing persons inquiry.

The restrictions have been put in place around a house and garden in Inverkip as part of an investigation into the disappearance of Margaret Fleming.

The 36-year-old was reported missing from the house by her two carers on 28 October. The last independent sighting of her was on 17 December 1999.

Media organisations have used to drones to capture footage of the search.

Officers have said it is possible Ms Fleming, who is believed to have learning difficulties, "may have come to some harm" and say their priority is establishing her movements and lifestyle from 1999 onwards.

Specialist search teams have been combing the cottage where she lived and excavating its grounds with a view to finding any documents, clothes or other personal items that could help in the effort to track her down.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption There has been no independent sighting of Margaret Fleming since 1999
Image caption The back garden of the house Margaret Fleming shared with her carers has been dug up

The aircraft restriction around the area was put into force under Article 239 of the Air Navigation Order 2016, and will be in place until late February.

Under the new rules, all aircraft - including drones - are banned from flying below 1,500 ft in the area, except those operated by police, ambulance or the coastguard.

The restrictions extend to a radius of one nautical mile (1.852m) from Main Road in Inverkip.

Ms Fleming lived at the house in Inverkip with her carers Edward Cairney, 75, and Avril Jones, 56.

She is thought to have attended James Watt College in Greenock between 1996 and 1998.

Police officers had gone to Ms Fleming's house on 28 October about a social work issue. Her carers said she had left that day. They later reported her missing.

During the investigation, members of the public who visited the house have told police that they never saw Ms Fleming.

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