Sindh police ac­quire sur­veil­lance drones for se­cu­rity

Pakistan Observer - - KARACHI CITY - CITY RE­PORTER

photo KARACHI—Sindh police have ac­quired six drones equipped with 25-megapixel high-def­i­ni­tion cam­eras, sources and of­fi­cials said on Satur­day. The move will strengthen the law en­force­ment agency’s sur­veil­lance sys­tem, mainly in those ar­eas where hu­man move­ment is tough due to dan­ger­ous ter­rain or higher risk to its per­son­nel.

It is for the first time in Pak­istan that such tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port for polic­ing has been ob­tained. The Sindh police have al­ready ini­ti­ated a pro­ject to in­stall around 4,000 high-tech 12-megapixel closed-cir­cuit TV (CCTV) cam­eras across Karachi as the ex­ist­ing 2,200 equip­ment in the city were found in­ef­fec­tive in iden­ti­fy­ing peo­ple and recog­nis­ing sus­pects cap­tured in the footage.

“Th­ese six drones would be handed over to dif­fer­ent ranges of the Sindh police each to Karachi, Hy­der­abad, Mir­purkhas, Sha­heed Be­nazirabad, Larkana and Sukkur,” said a source.

“Each drone is tagged at around Rs1.5 mil­lion and a team of some 23 po­lice­men com­pris­ing per­son­nel of dif­fer­ent ranges has been trained to op­er­ate the ma­chines. The drones with cam­eras have been ac­quired by only a few coun­tries, in­clud­ing Pak­istan, for polic­ing.”

When asked about any ex­am­ple of use of drone cam­eras for polic­ing in the coun­try, the source said the Sindh police had al­ready 13-megapixel drone cam­eras, but they could not op­er­ate for more than 20 min­utes with max­i­mum fly­ing of 1,000 me­tres and one-kilo­me­tre cov­er­age area. “The re­cently ac­quired drones, how­ever, can fly for 45 min­utes at a stretch up to 2,000 me­tres and can cover footage and pho­tographs of around 10-kilo­me­tre area,” he said.

“Each drone has an ad­vanced GPS tech­nol­ogy which can also help the op­er­a­tors on ground track its lo­ca­tion and ac­tiv­ity even if it’s not in sight. This ma­chine is called third gen­er­a­tion of Sky­cam, which is pri­mar­ily de­signed for sur­veil­lance and in­tel­li­gence job.”

When asked about its pri­mary utility, the source said that the idea to ac­quire such tech­nol­ogy emerged after the police, mainly in ru­ral parts of Sindh, found it hard to track ter­ror­ists and armed ban­dits due to ter­rain of their strongholds and high risk to lives of the per­son­nel when it came to hu­man in­tel­li­gence and sur­veil­lance. “So it would help dur­ing police op­er­a­tion to get a real-time idea about those no-go ar­eas be­fore launch­ing an op­er­a­tion or de­sign­ing a strat­egy,” he said.

“Sim­i­larly, in a city like Karachi it could also be used for air sur­veil­lance and mon­i­tor­ing of traf­fic move­ment, ral­lies and public places apart from their use for in­tel­li­gence for any police op­er­a­tion.”

He said at present the Karachi police con­trolled around 2,200 CCTV cam­eras. Of them, 1,200 were owned by the Karachi Metropoli­tan Cor­po­ra­tion and the re­main­ing 1,000 by the Sindh police and they all were two-megapixel de­vices, which “are good for mon­i­tor­ing pur­poses only but they do not record a clear enough pic­ture that can be eas­ily iden­ti­fied”.

Prof. Dr Zabta Khan Shinwari, Pres­i­dent, Na­tional Coun­cil for Tibb tak­ing oath of stu­dents at An­nual Func­tion of Fac­ulty of Eastern Medicines, Ham­dard Univer­sity Mrs Sa­dia Rashid, Chan­cel­lor Ham­dard Univer­sity, Prof Dr Hakim Ab­dul Han­nan, Vice Chan­cel­lor, Prof Dr Hakim Sha­habud­din, Dean Fac­ulty of Eastern Medicine, HU, Dr Navaid-ul-Za­far, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Ham­dard Lab­o­ra­to­ries (Waqf) Pak­istan are also.—PO

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