TWO teenage machete suspects were arrested in Dudley thanks to state-of-the-art drone technology.

Police have celebrated the help of the devices, which have helped in the arrest of almost 100 crime suspects since being launched last October.

The eye-in-the-sky tech has helped gather intelligence on illegal street racers and cannabis factories, along with helping find a host of missing people.

A drone pilot helped in the arrest of two teenagers in Dudley last month after police received reports of them armed with machetes in the Greens area.

One of the suspects, a 16-year-old boy was arrested when police arrived at Beech Green on June 13, but another suspect ran off by jumping over garden fences.

A drone spotted the 19-year-old trying to lie low on a school rooftop and the pilot guided a police dog to the location where he was detained.

He need hospital treatment for a dog bite and was not found with a knife and there was not enough evidence to link him to a stolen car found near to where the teenagers were encountered.

The 16-year-old, from Wrens Nest, was charged with possessing a knife in public and is due to appear at Dudley Youth Court on July 15.

The drones were launched as a 24-7 resource last October and have now completed around 300 flying hours in the support of police operations across the West Midlands.

Sergeant Keith Bennett, lead officer for drones at West Midlands Police, said: “They have proved invaluable. They have helped in the search for more than 250 missing people and also assisted in the arrest of more than 90 crime suspects.

“They can cover ground so much more quickly than officers on foot. It’s no exaggeration to say they may well have saved lives of missing people, and have also saved lots of police time locating suspects.

“Much like a helicopter, drones are equipped with high resolution, thermal cameras but are a lower cost option with a smaller carbon footprint."

“We have also used imagery from drones to create aerial reconstructions of serious crime scenes, which are used in court as part of prosecutions.

“The images give juries a clear picture of the crime scene and help them understand the prosecution case."

Waheed Saleem, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Our drones, paid for using money previously seized from criminals, are now helping bring others to justice.

“They are an excellent addition to police kit in the fight against crime and can be used when it isn’t practical to have a helicopter near a scene

“Drones are being used to keep the public safe and catch criminals using proceeds from ill-gotten gains of others."