The Independent London Newspaper
20th October 2017

Police could deploy drone cameras as Camden identified as a 'good pilot site'

    Catherine Roper

    DCS Roper said Camden would be a 'good place to trial drones'

    Published: 27 January, 2017
    By WILLIAM McLENNAN

    CRIME hotspots in Camden could be among the first areas to see drone surveillance cameras deployed by police. 

    The use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is currently being reviewed by Scotland Yard and borough commander Catherine Roper said last night (Thursday) that she has requested Camden be considered for any early trials. 

    Outlining plans for the merger of police forces in Camden and Islington, which is due to begin at the end of next month, DCS Roper said: “I think that Camden and Islington would be a good, excuse the pun, pilot site, I do apologise. It would be a good place to trial them.”

    She said that areas in the south of the borough that have problems with pickpockets and phone snatches would be ideal candidates.

    It was also suggested they could be deployed at notorious spots for drug dealing, such as the canal towpath in Camden Town, which has proved a long-standing problem for police.

    DCS Roper said: “Because we have particular hotspots, I think they would be a good place to trial a drone, because you keep them static and you can cover a particular area. Huge issues around privacy there, huge issues around human rights there, of course. So at the moment there are no plans, but I have already put in a central bid, in that I would like to explore that if it is a possibility.

    "We do not currently deploy drones as a matter of course and there are no intentions to change that. What I have asked for though is that, as and when we get a little bit more brave with it, I think that Camden and Islington would be a good, excuse the pun, pilot site, I do apologise. It would be a good place to trial them." 

    Comments

    Camden Spy Drones

    The police should be careful what they wish for or they may soon find many of their own jobs replaced by drones!

    Police state

    How about asking us plebs what we want?

    Not good in these days of rising authoritarianism

    When fascism is on the rise, the last thing we want to do is give the authorities an advantage over innocent law-abiding citizens.
    They're already got access to everybody's internet activity - innocent or not.
    Imagine the uproar if they started opening everyone's mail without exception.

    Sedentary job

    I guess this means that porky plods will not need to get off their backsides and the 12 year old constables can practice their play-station technique in work time, at our expense.

    Big Brother

    Who wants to live in a society where the authorities watch over us with drones? The funny thing is, YouTube is full of videos of the police stopping people for filming in public (an act which is perfectly legal) yet not only are we filmed by a vast network of CCTV and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras, "they" now also want to spy on us with drones. Who knew George Orwell was actually predicting the future.

    Spies in the sky

    This is truly sinister and I do not believe for one minute that the police would stop at pickpockets. They are not to be trusted with the surveillance tools that they already have. I will be investing some time in catapult practice.

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