DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
News

This charity is using a drone to find rural rough sleepers

P3’s Lincolnshire Street Outreach Team will bring the tech to Lincolnshire skies from this week

P3 rural homeless drone

Rough sleeping is not just a problem limited to urban areas, in fact rural homelessness can be even harder to spot.

Of the estimated 6,270 households classed as homeless in the countryside by The Institute for Public Policy Research, many are living in outhouses, tents and other makeshift shelters.

That makes people difficult to spot over large distances for outreach teams looking to provide help and connect them with the service they need.

Charity P3 have turned to technology to combat this problem with a £600 drone.

The Phantom 3 drone uses a 20mm camera to live-stream footage of rural Lincolnshire back to outreach teams letting them comb remote and coastal areas across the region more effectively.

Team members can then be directed towards people via the quickest and safest route.

P3 service coordinator Andy Lee said: “This technology will revolutionise our ability to direct our support to vulnerable people sleeping rough.

“Often when we receive information from the public letting us know about someone sleeping rough the location is vague, for example ‘in the sand dunes along the North Shore’ or ‘down the public footpath and across the field’ and of course sometimes the person has also moved on from this location.

Rural homeless P3 drone
P3-rural-homeless-drone
It is hoped that the drone will allow outreach workers to reach rough sleepers before they move on

“Because the drone will help us to search vast areas within a relatively short period of time, we will be able to locate people much faster, assess the easiest and safest route to access their location and guide our support workers remotely to them.”

P3 chief executive Mark Simms purchased the drone with his own money to trigger the innovative initiative.

It will be hitting Lincolnshire skies this week as part of a trial period that could see it moved to other areas of the country if successful.

“It will prove to be an invaluable asset, because time is always the key factor when we’re trying to find someone,” Andy added.

Images: P3

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Why the four-day working week is a feminist issue – and what we need to do about it
Four-day working week

Why the four-day working week is a feminist issue – and what we need to do about it

Hollyoaks legend Emily Burnett: 'With the right people behind you, you can do anything'
Learning Disability Week 2024

Hollyoaks legend Emily Burnett: 'With the right people behind you, you can do anything'

Benefits, bills and safe routes for refugees: All the issues the major parties aren't talking about
Sunak and Starmer debate
General election 2024

Benefits, bills and safe routes for refugees: All the issues the major parties aren't talking about

June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus universal credit increase
money in wallet/ dwp benefits
Benefits

June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus universal credit increase

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know