Police deploy drones in hunt for sheep rustlers as battle against rural crime goes high-tech

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Night drone patrols have been launched by police investigating the slaughter of sheep as part of a new high-tech efforts to combat the UK’s worst rural crime wave in seven years.

The drones have been deployed after 80 animals were killed on farms in Northamptonshire before being butchered and sold illegally to restaurants and shops. Officers have said the drone will be used alongside extra ground patrols.

"A lot of the crimes have happened in quite remote locations," said Sgt Sam Dobbs, from Northamptonshire Police. "You physically can't see from the road what's going on. The drone can cover such a large area and see such a lot at night with the thermal imaging."

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