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Police could deploy drone cameras as Camden identified as a ‘good pilot site’

Camden's police chief says she has 'put in a bid' to explore use of aerial devices

27 January, 2017 — By William McLennan

DCS Roper said Camden would be a ‘good place to trial drones’

CRIME hotspots in Camden could be among the first areas to see drone surveillance cameras deployed by police.

The use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is currently being reviewed by Scotland Yard and borough commander Catherine Roper said last night (Thursday) that she has requested Camden be considered for any early trials.

Outlining plans for the merger of police forces in Camden and Islington, which is due to begin at the end of next month, DCS Roper said: “I think that Camden and Islington would be a good, excuse the pun, pilot site, I do apologise. It would be a good place to trial them.”

She said that areas in the south of the borough that have problems with pickpockets and phone snatches would be ideal candidates.

It was also suggested they could be deployed at notorious spots for drug dealing, such as the canal towpath in Camden Town, which has proved a long-standing problem for police.

DCS Roper said: “Because we have particular hotspots, I think they would be a good place to trial a drone, because you keep them static and you can cover a particular area. Huge issues around privacy there, huge issues around human rights there, of course. So at the moment there are no plans, but I have already put in a central bid, in that I would like to explore that if it is a possibility.

“We do not currently deploy drones as a matter of course and there are no intentions to change that. What I have asked for though is that, as and when we get a little bit more brave with it, I think that Camden and Islington would be a good, excuse the pun, pilot site, I do apologise. It would be a good place to trial them.”

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