Po­lice sur­veil­lance drones prom­ise to boost ef­fi­ciency

China Daily (Canada) - - DEPTH - By ZHOUMO

Shen­zhen Art-Tech R/C Hobby Co Ltd, for years the lead­ing maker of toy-like but func­tional air­craft mod­els, is grad­u­ally gain­ing trac­tion in the un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles or UAV mar­ket.

Its drones, prod­ucts of years of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, are find­ing ap­pli­ca­tion in po­lice and se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions.

The com­pany is con­fi­dent the emerg­ing sec­tor would bring it a newlife.

In 2014, the com­pany’s anti-ter­ror­ism drone, the UAV AT-100 model, was in­ducted into the op­er­a­tions of the spe­cial po­lice unit in Kash­gar, Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

The UAV AT-100 is a hy­brid drone pow­ered by petrol and bat­tery. It is ca­pa­ble of tak­ing off and land­ing at a height of 3,000 me­ters above sea level. It can fly for as long as 90 min­utes with a 10-kilo­gram pay­load.

The law en­force­ment unit of Songgang area in Shen­zhen’s Bao’an district has also in­tro­duced the drones in its daily op­er­a­tions.

“Po­lice UAVs play an ir­re­place­able role in emer­gen­cies and daily se­cu­rity affairs,” said Lin Wei­dong, pres­i­dent of Art-Tech R/C Hobby.

“Drones can greatly im­prove the speed of po­lice re­sponse to sit­u­a­tions and en­hance their work ef­fi­ciency. This means, there will be a huge mar­ket po­ten­tial in the sec­tor.”

In Novem­ber 2015, Xin­hua news agency re­ported Liu Daolin, deputy di­rec­tor of the Po­lice Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion Of­fice at theMin­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity, as say­ing that po­lice UAVs are a new type of equip­ment that is find­ing wider ap­pli­ca­tion in the

Drones can greatly im­prove the speed of po­lice re­sponse to sit­u­a­tions ... ”

pub­lic se­cu­rity sec­tor.

More than 300 po­lice drones had been de­ployed in over 150 de­part­ments in 25 provinces so far, Liu was quoted as say­ing.

For long, China has been faced with the prob­lem of short­age of po­lice forces. For in­stance, Bei­jing was said to have only 24 po­lice per­son­nel for ev­ery 10,000 peo­ple in 2013. The per­cent­age, though higher than that of many other Chi­nese cities, was still low com­pared with lead­ing cities in other coun­tries, which typ­i­cally score 40.

In­creas­ing pen­e­tra­tion of po­lice UAVs is set to ease the prob­lem. Lin ad­mit­ted tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs have to be made be­fore the de­vice could be ap­plied in dan­ger­ous and com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tions.

“At the mo­ment, po­lice UAVs can be used only for sur­veil­lance and de­tec­tion. In crim­i­nal cases which re­quire po­lice UAVs to work in small spa­ces with strong sig­nal in­ter­fer­ence, the de­vice is in­ca­pable of work­ing ef­fec­tively with its cur­rent tech­nol­ogy,” he said.

Lin be­lieves po­lice drone mak­ers should strive to make the de­vice more in­tel­li­gent, so it could carry out more func­tions like hu­man char­ac­ter­is­tics iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, video in­for­ma­tion search, so forth.

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