Speaking at the launch of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) Green said “Drones are like any other piece of kit – where it’s appropriate or proportionate to use them then we will look at using them.”
The Home Office Minister’s comments follow concerns that have been raised about the sophisticated and intrusive nature of unmanned drones. Despite this, the police and the Home Office appear to be willfully ignoring all the evidence about how ineffective CCTV is at stopping crime and the serious civil liberties questions about how these machines could be abused. Using unmanned technology will never be able to ensure that the images being gathered are appropriate and proportionate in the way that a manned helicopter will.
The regulation of drones appears dangerously lax where they do not weigh enough to be covered by the main air rules, something it appears those selling drones are keen to exploit. We need clear rules that establish what drones can be used and why, before we see our skies littered with flying cameras. Without such regulation, the Home Office Ministers words lack substance and meaning.