Unmanned police drones, comparable to those used in war zones such as Afghanistan, could soon be secretly watching over the streets of UK cities, according to a National Police Air Service director.
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being considered to monitor crowded events in Britain, such as concerts and festivals, as soon as the aerial units become cost-effective.
“I see unmanned systems as part of the future. There is an aircraft over London all the time — every day, giving images back. Why does it need to be a very expensive helicopter? If somebody gave me an unmanned system that I could use as I use a helicopter at half the cost, within the regulations, I would buy it tomorrow.” Superintendent Richard Watson said in a presentation to the defense industry, reports The Times.
Some police precincts have tried using the remote-controlled system to curb crime. Now the idea is to implement the drone policy nationwide.
Watson said that one manufacturer had proposed an 81-million-pound (around US$127 million) system in a deal that far exceeds the annual National Police Air Service budget of a little over 60 million pounds ($95 million), reports The Telegraph.