REAL LIFE NEWS: THE RISE OF THE DRONE POLICE
The police force in Devon and Cornwall, in southwest England, are recruiting a “drone manager” who will head up a dedicated unit using the flying machines to combat crime.
The unit will send drones to crime scenes to take pictures and gather information. The drone force was originally announced last year, with a six month test planned, and a spokesman said at the time, “Using a drone to capture still or video images on difficult terrain and hard to reach areas such as cliffs, woodland or the moors to find a missing person, combat wildlife crime or even during a firearm incident, will allow officers to gain vital information, quickly and safely and allow us to respond effectively at the scene.” The area covered by this police force is the largest geographically of any force in the country so drones will certainly make it easier for the police to cover their territory.
Other police forces are also starting to use drones to augment their human forces. For example, some are deploying drones for tasks like searching for missing people or suspects, or responding to road crashes. West Midlands Police have been using a drone to police football matches, keeping an eye on potential flashpoints in the crowds.
People have raised concerns about privacy, and also the possibility of police numbers being cut and officers replaced by drones. But given how much cheaper drones are than helicopters, I am sure their use is only going to increase.