Police Drones – How are they crucial for Public Safety and Security?

Police Drones
The unpredictability of the Public Safety and Security sector has tested the roles and responsibilities of Law Enforcement Agencies, leading to the massive adoption of technologies to assist them in their operations. And recently, one type of technology has had a bigger impact than the previous few put together - Drones! Did you know that the World Police Submit 2023 would have an entire conference devoted only to "Drones"? From frontline operations to remote surveillance missions, drones and their powerful payload capabilities have been invaluable to the Police force and other law enforcement agencies. Let's learn about how police drones in the region have been keeping all of us safe and sound!

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How did the Police Drones secure the biggest event the world has ever witnessed – the EXPO 2020 UAE?

Drones did their job at one of the biggest events the region has ever witnessed – the Expo 2020 UAE; an event that saw people practically from every corner of the globe. And when you have delegates, dignitaries, and leaders of nations, ensuring their safety and the general public at large is paramount. That’s when the authorities turned to drone solutions. Robust drones were employed at the Expo 2020 that could detect 92 types of incidents, like fires, traffic problems, and intruders, just to name some. These drones have reportedly cut down the police response time to crime, traffic, and emergency situations by two-thirds.

Police drones have responded to hundreds of minor incidents at Expo, have undertaken more than two thousand patrolling missions to date and have completed more than 1,000 operational hours, said Capt. Mohammed Omar Al Muhairi, head of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Centre at Dubai Police.


How is the Ajman Police Force utilising Drones to monitor traffic?

The Ajman Police force has been deploying robust drone solutions to monitor the overall traffic situations in the Emirates – from monitoring accidents and road congestion to arresting violators of traffic rules. Drones allow the concerned authorities to capture clear images of the number plates of vehicles even 1,000 metres away. Captain Rashid Al Attar, Operations Director, Traffic and Patrols Department, Ajman Police, stated that since its inception in the previous year, the Air Support Centre has already carried out 20 security and aerial reconnaissance missions, as well as 299 traffic missions. Drones are always mission-ready and can also fly a distance of more than 15 kilometres – Attar continued.


How is the Sharjah Police Force utilising Drones to track criminals?

The Sharjah Police have successfully utilised drones to monitor COVID-19 lockdown violations, investigate crime scenes and road accidents, search for missing persons, track illegal activities, secure sensitive areas, patrol hazardous industrial sites, manage mob violence, provide crowd surveillance during public events and much more.

But here’s something more intriguing: the Sharjah Police Force has been tracking wanted criminals using drones equipped with facial recognition technology. As a first step, the AI network is fed with the photographs of the criminals. Now, facial recognition drones just fly around and scan crowded public areas. When a drone suspects it has spotted a target, it then captures the suspect’s images from multiple angles – (possibly flying lower and adjusting the gimbal for enhanced visibility). The photos are then scanned by machine learning models for immediate analysis. If any matches are found, the ground unit of the police force makes the arrest.


How Did Dubai Police Utilise Drones for Law Enforcement during the Covid Crisis?

The Dubai Police successfully utilised the capability of drones to ensure complete compliance of the Emirates with the decisions made by the government, especially during the Covid Crisis. They employed drones to communicate crucial messages, such as avoiding public locations and quitting beaches, as a preventative measure to prevent the virus from spreading. All thanks to drones that can communicate with loudspeakers! Drones equipped with loudspeakers will help you disseminate your messages from heights, with text-to-speech support and looping. This, in turn, escalates the efficiency of their operations.

Similarly, Colonel Saeed Al Madhani, Director of the Dubai Ports Police Station, stated that the Ports Police Station does drone patrols in its daily operations in collaboration with the Dubai Police Drone Centre.


How is the RAK Police force utilising Drones during emergencies?

The Ras Al Khaimah Police has deployed camera-equipped drones to enhance security in the emirate. The lightweight, compact, and powerful drones in the market can be easily operated remotely during an emergency or even for routine mapping flights. They can work around the clock with tremendous efficiency, capturing photographs and videos from great distances, and live-streaming them to senior authorities in the central control centre, allowing them to make better-informed decisions faster.


Applications of Drones in the Public Safety Sector

  • Firefighting: Firefighters are switching to drones paired with suitable payloads ranging from multi-gas detectors to high-resolution thermal and visual cameras. This enables them to make quick better-informed decisions when responding to critical emergencies. Likewise, drones can effortlessly fly around in poor weather conditions and efficiently spray water or drop fire retardants, translating to resisting the occurrences or spread of fires. Furthermore, drones with communication systems can maintain touch with ground-based firefighters and the command centre, helping them effectively manage the fires.
  • Law Enforcement: Law enforcement agencies are adopting versatile drone platforms to assist them with incident response, rapid mapping, and inspection to facilitate informed actions while ensuring maximum safety for officers and bystanders. The police force and other types of law enforcement agencies are utilising drone technology in several ways, from tracking suspects to monitoring criminal activity-prone areas.
  • Search and Rescue: Unlike other Public Safety operations, Search and Rescue operations are more complicated and unpredictable due to the time constraints and terrain conditions involved. Moreover, experts have to work in life-threatening conditions without even realising what the results will be like. Unlike traditional ground-based operations, Drones are very fast, allowing us to reach the mission areas at the earliest. Moreover, they are equipped with robust sensors for the best possible visibility of ground objects. As a result, responders can easily map the search zone and identify all potential zones where victims might be located.
  • Disaster Management: Drones can efficiently scan vast areas and help pinpoint lives in distress. In the event of a disaster, real-time data is crucial. Drones can just fly around the mission area while equipping responders with photos, live video streams, and GPS coordinates. Drones can immediately map the entire area hit by the aftermath of a disaster. Likewise, drones can also help us with disaster preparedness by mapping areas that are prone to natural disasters. This will help the disaster response teams identify areas of high risk and put plans in place to mitigate the potential damages.

The applications of drones in the Public Safety sector are limitless! As Rabih Bou Rached rightly says, “drones can literally save lives!” Feel free to get in touch with the Drone Centre to add these life-savers to your drone fleet. Our experts can guide you through the entire process, from consultation to helping you find the right drone, training your staff, and supporting your entire team to achieve excellence in your drone operations. Intrigued? Perfect, feel free to drop us a line!

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