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There are many new possibilities for the police, to use drones. Some examples: 1. Mini-drones Police-officers could wear foldable mini-drones on their body, weighing about 200 grams. A mini-drone can be controlled via a smart-phone, that can also display it's video-images. The smartphone can send those images to the dispatcher, and to police-collegues on the scene. These mini-drones can be deployed to locate a suspect in a park or on a roof, or to search a building where an armed suspect may hide, or to quickly find a drowning-victim, etc. 2. Fixed-wing VTOL drones Fixed-wing VTOL drones combine high-speed and long endurance, with hovering in place, and 'Vertical Take Of and Landing' (VTOL). They have the shape of a mini-plane, and can weigh less than 4 kgs. They can reach an incident-scene very fast, to record evidence and start pursuit, while police-cars rush to join the pursuit. 3. Tethered drones Tethered drones are tethered with a vertical kevlar or nylon line, to a police-car, police-boat, pole or building. Tethered drones are powered via a thin copper wire, that runs along that kevlar cord. That allows them to be larger than battery-operated drones, and carry heavier equipment, like a video-camera with a radio-controlled telelens. 4. Tethered blimps Tethered blimps (AKA tethered balloons) are filled with helium. They don't need a motor to stay in the air, so they are cheaply operated. They also are tethered to a vertical synthetic line. Tethered drones and tethered balloons could be located at the exit-roads of cities, at a height of 10 to 150 meters, to help detect fleeing suspects. Or above a city-centre, mass-event, disaster-scene, large fire, riot-scene, et cetera.
With the cuts to NPAS, I think now is a good time to open discussion on the use of drones by police forces. I'd be curious to hear what people think about them, as it seems whenever there is a mention of them in the media, people jump on the invasion of privacy bandwagon. However, I cannot see how it's that far removed from a helicopter? I can understand the concerns around fully automated drones patrolling the air, but in cases where a helicopter would usually be bought in, could a small drone usually carried in a vehicle be launched? The technology has come on leaps and bounds!