Monday, May 21, 2007

New police 'spy drone' takes to sky

The Hunter-Killer Orbital Weapons Defence Platform aircraft from The Terminator film trillogy
The UK's first police "spy drone" has taken to the skies.
The remote control helicopter, fitted with CCTV cameras, will be used by officers in Merseyside to track criminals and record anti-social behaviour.
The drone is only a metre wide, weighs less than a bag of sugar, and can record images from a height of 500m.
It was originally used for military reconnaissance but is now being trialled by a mainstream police force.
The spy plane was launched as a senior police officer warned the surveillance society in the UK is eroding civil liberties.
Ian Readhead, deputy chief constable of Hampshire Police, said Britain could face an Orwellian situation with cameras on every street corner.
However, senior officers in Merseyside, who are trialling the drone, said they did not believe it was the next phase in creating a Big Brother society.
Assistant chief constable Simon Byrne said: "People clamour for the feeling of safety which cameras give.
"Obviously there is a point of view that has been expressed but our feedback from the public is anything we can do to fight crime is a good thing.
"There are safeguards in place legally covering the use of CCTV and the higher the level of intrusion, the higher the level of authority needed within the police force to use it. So there is that balance there."

No comments: