Privacy Concerns over Drones Streaming Horse Racing
A council is taking action after drones filming horse racing prompt privacy fears.
08:43 22 October 2021
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council is taking action after professional drone pilots stepped up their operations to film horse racing from the air.
Drone pilots are making money by streaming live footage of races, which provides better angles so gamblers would see how the horses are doing against one another.
Pilots are now delivering flyers to private properties to find new bases to take off from.
The flyers being delivered around Oadby state: "We need your help! We are looking for a base to fly a commercial drone for footage of the Leicester Racecourse.
"We would be looking to fly for approximately four hours, two to four times a month from private land and can offer a financial incentive of £50 for each visit.
"As a CAA qualified and fully insured drone pilot, we take responsibility and every precaution to ensure complete safety to all persons and properties."
The practice has since prompted privacy fears.
A 75-year-old Oadby resident who lives with his wife near the racecourse said: "It's been going on for a few months now. Initially, we just noticed the drones being flown from Ellis Park.
"We're not happy that they're up there with cameras, making us feel like we're being spied on when we sit outside. Quite a few people feel the same way around here.
"Now these drone pilots are coming from all over the place, setting up in the car park near here and elsewhere. They bring little tents like fishermen have and sit out filming the races.
Oadby & Wigston Borough Council is looking into what can be done to tackle the problem.
Councillor Bill Boulter, chairman of service delivery committee at Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, said: “A robust solution is needed to prevent these anti-social drone flying incidents that have been on the rise around Leicester Racecourse in recent times.
“We’re taking advice from the Civil Aviation Authority and working with Leicestershire Police to tackle the problem – an issue which is now plaguing racecourses across the country.
“The borough council does have a drone policy and as a result we’ve issued two Community Protection Warning Notices and one Community Protection Notice in Ellis Park in recent weeks."