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Over a third of the public (38 per cent) want a total ban on the sale of drones, after incidents at Heathrow and Gatwick airport, according to research by a think-tank.
The poll of 2,000 UK citizens quizzed about their attitudes to the regulation of drones and concerns over their risk to national security. Some 83 per cent backed a mandatory licence system for drones, similar to UK firearm and shotgun restrictions. Of this figure 26 per cent said they slightly agreed, with 57 per cent saying they strongly agreed.
The research by the Parliament Street think tank also found concerns around resourcing and security expertise to tackle future attacks. 83 per cent said they felt the UK needed more cyber skills to address the threat. Also, 75 per cent said they believe drones will continue to pose a major threat to national security.
Respondents also backed collaboration between tech firms and security services, with 84 per cent saying cyber specialists should do more to help airports and the police prevent attacks.
Sheila Flavell, Chair, Institute of Coding says: “The recent incidents caused by drone activity are a reminder of the urgent need to boost the UK’s cyberskills expertise to tackle these emerging threats. Key to this effort is encouraging greater collaboration between industry and academic institutions to develop specialist tech courses and ensure the next generation are fully equipped with the latest digital skills.”
About the poll
The survey company Censuswide polled 2,000 members of the UK public on attitudes to drone regulation in January 2019.
For more on the December Gatwick closure due to an intrusion by an unknown drone pilot, see the February 2019 print issue of Professional Security magazine.