People are being asked not to fly drones in the area throughout The Tall Ships Races, in Sunderland from 10-14 July 2018.

The flying of drones without a licence and permission of the landowner is potentially illegal and dangerous, and in this instance could hamper event operations, the work of the emergency services, or, with up to 1.5m visitors expected, lead to an accident.

The Tall Ships Project Team have confirmed that only themselves, the emergency services, and their three media partners (BBC Newcastle, Sun FM and Sunderland Echo) will be filming the event using drones for commercial purposes.

It is against the law to fly drones within 150 metres of congested area or an open air crowd, without prior approval first, and Northumbria Police have reiterated the importance of drone operators avoiding the event zones over the whole event.

Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, silver commander for The Tall Ships Races 2018 said: “The public need to know that if we identify them as flying a drone in this area they could be prosecuted. Flying these types of aircraft within 150 metres of a congested area is a criminal offence and may contravene air safety legislation. Those found violating that rule could face criminal prosecution."

All drone operators must be aware of the rules set out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding drone flights, and follow their guidelines.