Sunday, August 16, 2009
Police used a remote-controlled “flying saucer” to monitor the BNP’s Red, White and Blue festival in Codnor, Derbyshire, where anti-fascist protesters have assembled.
Similar to a mini-helicopter, the device has four pairs of carbon-fibre rotor blades which support a camera. An operator on the ground controls the vehicle’s flight using a hand-held control panel with two joysticks.
The drone – which is based on military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology – feeds live images back to a screen on the control unit, enabling the “pilot” to operate the machine even when it is out of his or her sight.
Merseyside Police was the first force to use the drones, launching them during a number of crackdowns on gun and gang crime, as well as against anti-social behaviour. The aerial cameras have also previously been deployed to deter crime at pop festivals. Yesterday was the first time it was used at a demonstration.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 3:38 am