Merseyside Police has made the UK's first arrest by unmanned drone, thanks to the thermal-imaging equipment onboard.

A 16-year-old car thief attempted to hide from the local authorities in the undergrowth, so the specialised equipment was launched and inexorably tracked down the unsuspecting suspect.

Drones with similar equipment have been used for search and rescue operations for some time, but this is the first incident where the use has led to an arrest. Merseyside Police Chief Inspector Nick Gunatilleke said: "We will use [the drone] whenever we can to support other resources such as the force helicopter and dog patrols in dealing with incidents when they arise."

Flying squad

The drone can fly to 400ft and can hit a top speed of 30mph, so it won't quite be able to replace the humble police chopper in high speed chases, but should be considerably cheaper to use for some operations.

The UAV has four rotor blades to suspend it, with a selection of different cameras available, including the thermal-imaging equipment and standard CCTV. Most importantly, the little vehicle comes with a flashing blue light to let criminals know it's on to them.

Via Sky News