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Drones take off on public safety patrols

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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)s, commonly known as drones, will soon be a common sight over border zones, crime hotspots and city streets, as public safety and security officials and police departments discover the cost saving and efficiencies offered by drone patrol “armies”.
This is the word from Airborne Drones, a South African-based international manufacturer of enterprise-grade drones.
“Drones provide the ideal solution to the problems and limitations faced by other surveillance methods such as GPS tracking, CCTV camera observation, biometric surveillance and ground patrols,” says a company spokesman. “Aerial surveillance is increasingly being harnessed for security monitoring; but traditionally, this has been carried out using helicopters – which are costly to deploy – and with drones controlled by a user – which can be somewhat limited in terms of operating hours.
“However, drone surveillance does present an easier, faster, and cheaper method of data collection, as well as a number of other key advantages. Specialised security drones can enter narrow and confined spaces, produce minimal noise, and can be equipped with night vision cameras and thermal sensors, allowing them to provide imagery that the human eye is unable to detect.
“In addition, these UAVs can quickly cover large and difficult-to-reach areas, reducing staff numbers and costs, and do not require much space for their operators.”
Autonomous, long-range security drones are at the vanguard of new policing methods, according to the company. “Offering live video feeds to ground control stations, these drones can range autonomously over pre-programmed flight paths for extended periods of time, allowing for ongoing routine patrols across wide areas such as borders, maritime regions and high security installations.
“Should an incident be detected, ground crews can then follow objects or intruders from a safe distance, providing visual support to safety and security teams. UAVs can provide detailed visual documentation of sites, enabling effective analysis, risk management and security planning.”
Numerous countries are already rolling out security drones to support their public safety and defence initiatives. UAVs are also instrumental in managing transport infrastructure safety and security and event security, from event security infrastructure through to spectator and crowd control and safety, to overall health and safety planning around the world.