Tilburg police to use drones to track fireworks ban violators
The police in Tilburg will enlist the help of a drone to scope out where heavy firework is being used.
The drone is an experiment to see if it can be used successfully on duty. Police send out the gadget, particularly during festivals and demonstrations, to help give officers an overview of the situation.
It has a heat camera that can show police where a group of people gathers together. The drone does not take pictures where the people's faces it captures can be recognized. "We have no authority to address groups and ask them to open their bags. We need to catch people in the act of setting off fireworks to confront them," a police spokesperson from the Zeeland-West-Brabant unit told the Brabantse Dagblad.
The drone did not capture any illegal activity on its trial day on Thursday. "Maybe preventive measures have worked," the spokesperson said.
Drones are being used continuously more in the police force. While in 2017, there will only be ten operational drones in the police force, that number rose to 790 in 2020.
Zeeland-West-Brabant police will also shortly launch a special Whatsapp number where residents can report fireworks. During the two days the number had been open in the run-up to New Year's Eve 2019, police received 200 reports of firework disturbances in Tilburg.