Drone flight ban as police search for Margaret Fleming

Police probing the disappearance of a vulnerable woman have banned the flying of drones over an area which is being searched by officers.

Margaret Fleming was last seen in public 17 years ago

Two carers reported Margaret Fleming, 36, missing from her home in Main Road, Inverkip, Inverclyde, on 28 October, but the last independent sighting of her was actually at a family event on 17 December, 1999.

Officers have said it is possible Ms Fleming, who is believed to have learning difficulties, “may have come to some harm” and say their priority is establishing her movements and lifestyle from 1999 onwards.

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Specialist search teams have been combing the cottage where she lived and excavating its grounds with a view to finding any documents, clothes or other personal items that could help in the effort to find her.

The aircraft restriction around the area was put into force at 6.30am on Wednesday, under Article 239 of the Air Navigation Order 2016, and will be in place until late February.

No aircraft other than Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service or Maritime Coast Guard Agency assets can fly below 1,500ft in the area, police said.

It is understood police went to Ms Fleming’s house as part of a routine social services inquiry in October but were told she was not there. Her carers later reported her missing.

The missing woman is said to have few contactable friends or family and checks on education, employment, health and welfare records have shown no trace of her.

Police are making inquiries within the wider Inverclyde area as part of their investigation.

Ms Fleming is believed to have attended James Watt College in Greenock between 1996 and 1998.

She is thought to have lived with her father in Port Glasgow before he died in October 1995.

She then lived with her grandparents and her mother, but later moved in with carers in 1997 and has been estranged from her mother ever since.

Ms Fleming is described as 5ft 5ins with a heavy build, collar-length black hair and brown eyes.

When reported missing on 28 October, she was wearing a green tartan fleece or jumper, dark jeans or trousers, dark Karrimor boots and was carrying a satchel-type handbag.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.