Drones Invade Privacy in the UK

PEEPING Toms are using drones to spy on women, police statistics reveal

The Sun reports that figures confirm complaints about flying cameras being used to peer into windows are rising.

A Freedom of Information request shows reports of drones being used illegally have gone up ten times over three years.

The FoI request also reveals drones are being used to pry into people’s gardens and homes.

That includes female victims complaining of drones flying near windows appearing to be trying to film them.

One victim who spotted a Peeping Tom or potential burglar spying is Christina Daw, 68.

She saw a drone camera outside her house and says it peered into her front room while she was drinking tea.

Christina, of Tiverton, Devon, said she and husband Peter, 71, feel vulnerable about the intrusion into their privacy.

She said: “It was so noisy. If you believed in aliens you’d have thought it was them. What was more perturbing is that they looked into the house and they must have seen us because I haven’t got any nets or blinds.”

Christina, who is a councillor on Tiverton Town and Mid Devon District councils, added: “Police say a law is coming in to stop it happening. But it was an invasion of privacy for us and the police figures show it is a growing problem.”

The FoI figures revealed that Avon and Somerset Constabulary received five complaints about drones in 2013.

But from January 2015 to the beginning of September it increased to 49. Drone laws are governed by the Civil Aviation Authority.

They state: “Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures.”

Ben Knowles, from Portishead-based media production company Redleaf AV Ltd, has been legitimately using drones for years for filming.

Now his firm is offering training to help people stay on the right side of the law.

Ben, 29, said: “Part of what we do is educate people on the rules. There are ways they can help themselves abide by them — and save police time.”