- Apr 4, 2019
- Reaction score
His drone could be destroyed if he breaches it
Councils are able to back up drone bans on council-owned land by serving a Community Protection Warning. This is a simple written warning not to fly a drone in a particular place. If that is not complied with, they can serve a Community Protection Notice under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. That is a legal notice which, if disobeyed, can result in a prosecution and a £2,500 fine for an individual (plus confiscation or destruction of the drone) if convicted.
A person served with such a Notice can appeal against the notice to a magistrates court within 21 days and the court can quash, modify or uphold the notice.
Note, a court order is not required to serve a notice., and the onus is on the person served with the notice to apply to the court to quash it. I assume that notices will advise of this right.
Anyone can also challenge a council policy banning drones by judicial review proceedings, though that can be expensive.
Wigston Borough Council in Leicester has introduced a blanket ban on recreational drones in all of its parks 24/7 even if nobody else is around, on the basis that, (1) local residents complained about feeling intimidated by drones, and (2) although most recreational drone users are responsible, a few are not and that can cause damage and injury.
I fear we will be seeing more and more bans by councils over the next few months and years, especially with compulsory recreational drone registration with the CAA being introduced in November.
As someone in the legal profession, I suspect that such a blanket and inflexible policy against recreational drone users (but not commercial operators, whose drones may equally cause local residents to feel intimidated) may be unlawful, but I wonder if there are any drone user organisations out there ready to challenge these policies.