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Unmanned aerial vehicles

Unmanned aerial vehicles

The Police of Finland has quickly become Finland’s largest organisation and an international pioneer in unmanned aviation.

The Police of Finland uses unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in all its activities, and they are everyday tools for police officers alongside more conventional technologies. 

Training and equipment

The primary goal of the use of UAS is to support and replace manual labour. Unmanned aircraft systems increase the productivity and quality of police work and improve occupational safety and health. Each police department has unmanned aerial vehicles and a sufficient number of police officers trained to use them. 

Currently, the Police of Finland has more than 600 trained UAS operators. The Police of Finland’s unmanned aviation training consists of a set of three different training levels: 

  • Training for UAS operators
  • Training for UAS trainers
  • Aviation management training

Currently, the Police of Finland operates more than 330 unmanned aircraft systems. Most of the systems are small and fast to deploy. They are increasingly used by patrols engaged in field operations and emergency response activities.

All models are equipped with high resolution cameras. In addition to regular daylight cameras, the Police of Finland uses thermographic cameras, lights and speakers mounted on aerial vehicles.

Detailed records and statistics of the Police of Finland’s flight missions

In 2021, the Police of Finland completed 5,351 flight missions, of which 3,101 were part of operational assignments. Other flights consisted of training and testing. In total, 2,096 flight hours were recorded.

Recently, unmanned aircraft systems have increasingly been used in various search assignments. They are followed by documentation (e.g. photographing scenes of crime) and producing overviews. The production of an overview means the transmission of supporting video to operational command posts. 

The Police of Finland has carried out several large-scale aviation operations in conjunction with significant state visits, EU presidency meetings and Independence Day events.

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A police drone, an unmanned aerial vehicle on the roof of a police car at night.