WATCH: Moment drone captures wanted man crawling away from police
PUBLISHED: 10:24 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 11 December 2017
Great Yarmouth Police
This is the moment an absconder attempts a crawl away and hide from police officers - only to be captured on camera by a drone and arrested.
Officers from Great Yarmouth Police were carrying out an operation at an address on Gapton Hall Road at around 6.30am on Wednesday.
The operation involved the use of a thermal image drone - a piece of technology adopted by Norfolk Constabulary on July 31 this year.
Noticing the police presence, wanted man Philip Johnson, 43, clambered from the window of one of the caravans on the site, crawling through the undergrowth and away.
However, the thermal image drone detected his every move, with force drone operator Danny Leach alerting officers at the scene, who were easily able to apprehend him.
After realising officers were tracking his movements, the drone footage shows Johnson giving up the chase and curling into a ball.
The drone was being operated a short distance away from the scene.
Nathan Clark, chief inspector of Great Yarmouth Police said: “Because of this technology, a wanted man is now in jail who would otherwise have escaped.
“Without it, he almost certainly would have been gone.”
Last week, an appeal for information about Johnson’s whereabouts was published by this newspaper, however, until this point police had been unable to locate him.
Mr Leach said: “We mainly use the drones in search operations and to gather intelligence, as they give us an additional eye in the sky.
“The drones give us almost everything a helicopter can, but without quite as great a cost.”
Mr Clark made it clear the drones are only used in extenuating circumstances and that this time the technology had gone beyond the call of duty.
He added: “This instance just shows how important advances in technology are to the police.
“However, we also owe our thanks to the public in helping with this and all the appeals we issue.
“I cannot stress enough how important public responses are in our work, so my thanks goes to anybody who makes to effort to come forward with information.”
Johnson was wanted on recall to prison after breaching the terms of his licence.