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Community resolution for man using drone illegally near rail lines in Tendring

PUBLISHED: 11:23 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:58 13 October 2017

Network Rail said only its trained pilots could fly drones near the rail lines. File picture

Network Rail said only its trained pilots could fly drones near the rail lines. File picture

Archant

A 28-year-old man from Kirby Cross has been given a community resolution order after illegally using a drone near rail lines in Tendring – the first unlicensed drone case Essex Police have dealt with.

The drone was flying the day the Tornado steam engine was travelling through Essex. Picture: SEANA HUGHESThe drone was flying the day the Tornado steam engine was travelling through Essex. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Essex Police was alerted to the incident which happened on Saturday, August 12, when the Tornado steam engine was travelling to Kirby Cross.

A man was flying a drone without a licence within 50 metres of other people and their property.

He was also found to be selling images taken from the drone’s camera in a local shop, which was being done so illegally as he did not have a certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority to do so.

Wendy Welsh, head or air operations at Network Rail, said use of drones around rail routes had the potential to cause serious incidents.

“If a train collided with a drone, it could cause a serious accident,” she said.

“A drone could fly into and damage vital equipment – such as overhead wires or pylons – costing thousands to repair and causing hours of train delays.

“Only our team of highly-trained authorised pilots and specialist approved contractors are permitted to fly drones near the railway.

“It’s just too dangerous for anyone else to fly a drone near the railway and you could face a penalty of up to £2500.”

The 28-year-old, from Kirby Cross in Tendring, was reported on October 1 to have breached the Air Navigation Order 2016, and was dealt with by Essex Police with an agreement contract and community resolution.

Essex Police said it was working alongside British Transport Police and Network Rail to clamp down on dangerous drone use.

PC Paul Lindup from Essex Police said: “This is the first drone incident Essex Police has dealt with and we along with the British Transport Police are clamping down on illegal use of drones and will be prosecuting more infringements.

“The British Transport Police carried out a similar process on Thursday, September 28 with a second operator reported to court.

“If you witness what you believe to be a dangerous use of a drone please contact 101 or email drones@essex.pnn.police.uk stating the location and time and any evidence you can gain of the offence.”

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