I was amazed to learn that West Sussex County Council squandered £36,000 on the procurement of a drone that has never been used.
I take an active interest in drone technology and it is apparent the council has paid considerably more than was necessary to start an effective drone surveilliance operation.
For example, a very capable commercially-available model, the Inspire, is extremely stable, produces very high quality video footage and has a good endurance range and is in use by police forces around the country.
The latest version of the Inspire retails for £3,000, just one seventh of the sum paid by the council for its drone!
In its defence, the council would probably cite the fact its device has thermal imaging. However, I would question the need for such technology and the true advantages that it provides over and above extremely high quality optics.
Wouldn’t it have been sensible to carry out a feasibility study using a model such as the Inspire before spending tens of thousands of pounds on, what has transpired to be, a very expensive white elephant.
In these days, when councils are strapped for cash, and services are cut back accordingly, the council should be taken to task for spending £36,000 on a drone package that wasn’t needed.