Police issue drone warning for Falkirk’s firework display after ‘irresponsible’ actions in 2017

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Police in Forth Valley have issued a warning to drone owners ahead of this weekend’s firework display - after last year’s event nearly had to be abandoned.

The display, which takes place on Monday, November 5 at Callendar Park, is expected to attract around 30,000 people.

But last year, two drones were flown overheard where the fireworks were being set off - with police saying it was “very fortunate” that the event was able to continue safely.

The law for operating drones states that they are not permitted to fly within 30 metres of a person or a building.

Read more: Falkirk firework display 2018: Everything you need to know

The licence granted by Falkirk Council for the fireworks display to be held also has conditions that drones must not be flown.

Damian Armstrong, Falkirk Area Commander Chief Inspector, said: “The annual fireworks display is a significant community occasion, and last year two thoughtless people endangered those in attendance by flying drones above the crowd and close to the fireworks being let off.

“I cannot stress enough how irresponsible such actions are.

“The laws around drone use, and the licence conditions for the display, are there for the safety of everyone.

“Anything which could interfere with the safe running of the event could lead to it being cancelled, thousands of people being disappointed and jeopardise any future events.

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“We will take robust action should it be necessary, but I am appealing to anyone who has a drone to please leave it at home and enjoy the fireworks safely with everyone else.”

Councillor Laura Murtagh, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for Public Protection, said: “We’d encourage everyone to go along to the organised display at Callendar Park this year and enjoy what will be a great event.

“There’s no need to put anyone in danger by flying drones near the display and we have worked with Police Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust to make sure that this event is safe for everyone.”

Brian Robertson, Group Manager, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, added: “Bonfire Night is typically the service’s busiest night of the year.

“We would appeal to the public to attend organised events rather than do-it-yourself bonfires and fireworks displays.”