Drone linked to death of West Yorkshire police horse
09:56Tuesday 10 November 2015
West Yorkshire Poolice are appealing for information to trace the owner of a radio-controlled drone which could be linked to an incident that resulted in the death of a police horse.
Police horse Fimber died following an incident at West Yorkshire Police’s Carr Gate complex on the outskirts of Wakefield on Thursday, October 15.
The 14-year-old horse, who joined the force in 2004, appeared to have been spooked while in the paddock causing him to vault the fences and collide with a wooden post.
Officers are now investigating the possibility that the incident could be linked to the discovery of a radio-controlled drone that was found at the Carr Gate site at 1.10pm on Sunday, October 18, after it was spotted by the police helicopter crew as they came in to land.
Walkera Runner 250The drone is a “Walkera Runner 250” device, which is about nine inches long. It is widely available and costs around £200.
Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have reviewed CCTV footage which shows Fimber bolting seemingly in reaction to something nearby. This resulted in him being seriously injured and led to his death. We cannot discount that this drone was involved.
“There is a possibility that Fimber was reacting to the drone landing nearby or being close to him when he bolted with tragic consequences. We know he was used to the helicopter taking off and landing nearby and by the nature of his training would be used to loud noises, which tends to suggest it was something unusual that caused him to react.
“I am very keen to hear from anyone who has any information that could assist us in tracing the owner of this drone.
If this is indeed the work of a rogue UAV operator, then he needs to be found and questions need to be asked. If you make a mistake with your drone/UAV you need to face the consequences of your actions, especially where people and animals are concerned. If you have an incident report it to the CAA using the appropriate channels and the local police if necessary.