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Stop the Police using unmanned aerial camera drones to monitor the public

1 Comment 13th July 2010


To remove the legal right for Police to use unmanned aerial camera drones to monitor the UK public:


Since 2007, the Police have steadily introduced unmanned camera drones for routine monitoring of the UK population.  This scheme was initially introduced by Kent Police as a means to monitor maritime movements but documents obtained under FOI reveal that this was in part just a public relations exercise in preparation to use them for routine surveillance of all areas of public life.


The two main types of police drone surveillance:

1)  Remote controlled rotor blade cameras that hover 50m above the ground.  These silent cameras are at least visible but they have the disadvantage of further alienating the Police from the public they serve, as described by participants of the Olympic handover celebrations in the Mall.

2)  BAE UAV drones that fly for up to 15hrs at 20,000ft and are invisible from the ground.


Why does this matter?


The impact this type of surveillance could have on UK civil liberties is hard to overstate:  Every walk in the park, day at the beach, even sitting in your own garden.  Every time you stop to appreciate a countryside view will be marred by the thought that somewhere in the sky a Police technician may be filming you.

While news coverage of their introduction may briefly highlight this intrusion, the more worrying scenario is that our children's generations may never even be aware of these unseen cameras endlessly circling over the UK.   

Their use is expected to increase dramatically during the 2012 olympics.  Once that surveillance investment is here, it is likely to stay.  The proposed regulation of CCTV will seem like a smokescreen if the expansion of a national drone network is allowed to continue.  Along with the recently disclosed 7.6 billion movements currently recorded by the ANPR network, extensive use of unseen aerial cameras would make the UK the definition of an open prison.



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One Response to Stop the Police using unmanned aerial camera drones to monitor the public

  1. Justin says:

    Down with Big Brother the time is now for the people to be free Put Big Brother 6ft under. long live the people of this world.

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