Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, have helped governments in important areas such as law enforcement, military, fire services and more. However, tech savvy British criminals are also using drones fitted with infrared cameras to find and raid cannabis farms.

Lately, illegal cannabis cultivation has increased rapidly in the UK. The growth in cannabis cultivation has also led to the increase in robberies as the criminals know that the victim will not report the incident to the police.

The Halesowen News has interviewed an anonymous criminal who uses his drone to find and steal from cannabis farms in Halesowen, Oldbury and Cradley Heath.

The criminal says that he purchased his first drone for around £200 (approximately $335). He learned how to fly the drone over wasteland and also fitted it with a Wi-Fi camera so that he could peep into the windows of people.

However, he later found that the police helicopters had infrared cameras fitted to them to find cannabis farms. He says that he used the same concept and purchased a second-hand infrared camera and fitted it to his drone, which was connected to an iPad.

The criminal says that once he found a cannabis farm he would either get his mates to burgle the place or tax the victim. He also added that many people who grow cannabis are not gangsters and, therefore, criminals need not resort to violence to steal.

"Half the time we don't even need to use violence to get the crop. Growing cannabis has gone mainstream and the people growing it are not gangsters, especially in places like Halesowen, Cradley Heath and Oldbury," says the criminal. "They are fair game, it is not like I'm using my drone to see if people have nice televisions I am just after drugs to steal and sell, if you break the law then you enter me and my drone's world."

Drones are not very difficult to find and are also reasonably priced. Moreover, learning how to fly a drone is not very complicated. On one hand, agencies such as fire services enlist the help of drones to combat fire situations and on the other, criminals are deploying them for activities such as finding a cannabis farm.

Governments will have to understand that drones have many advantages; however, if the flying of drones by civilians is not regularized then it can lead to increased criminal activities. 

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