Dutch police increasingly using drones
The Dutch police are using drones increasingly often, currently mainly to investigate traffic accidents and maintain public order. So far this year, the police deployed drones around 800 times, compared to 600 in all of last year. The police currently have 60 drones, and are working on increasing that to 130 in within two years, NOS reports.
Drones are a new tool that increasingly help the police do their work better, Peije de Meij of the police said to the broadcaster. "It offers many new possibilities. We can mount everything on the drones. Cameras, thermal images, speakers, light."
The police's drone team travels all over the country, to assist where needed. For example, at demonstrations during the pandemic, to be better able to see how crowded the demonstration is and whether people are social distancing. "You can see from the air much better than from the ground whether people are too close together, or whether they're fine," police drone pilot Leonie Knapen said to the broadcaster.
The police are looking into new ways drones can be used. For example, to search for missing children in a nature reserve, to look for drug labs, or for explosives reconnaissance.
Like drone hobbyists, the police are not just allowed to fly their drones above a residential area. They also have to file for permissions and permits. The police must also have well-trained people and professional equipment, De Meij explained. A drone with all the trimmings costs around 50 thousand euros, which means they are handled with extreme care.