MERSEYSIDE police made the first ever arrest in the UK using a flying drone to catch a suspected car thief in thick fog.
It swooped into action in Litherland to find a suspect who was hiding at night in poor visibility.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) acts as a flying CCTV and thermal imaging camera.
It was deployed on January 26 when it was reported that two men had stolen a Renault Clio in Bootle.
After a police car chase the suspects bailed out of the Clio.
Officers were able to detain one of the suspects, but struggled to find the second man in the dark.
But using the UAV's onboard thermal imaging technology, its operator was able to use live images of the suspect’s body-heat to direct patrols to the spot by the canal where he was lying.
The force became the first in the UK to trial the drones in 2007, and since then has used them to assist in search and rescue operations, search warrants and to crack down on anti-social behaviour.
They are operated by the force’s anti-social behaviour task force and directed from the ground by remote control, providing the force with a cheaper alternative to the police helicopter when aerial surveillance is needed.