December 21st, 2014

Robo Cop becoming a crime fighting reality as police drones take to the sky

Crime WorldBy Donal MacIntyre
Military drones to become tools of police across the globe
Military drones to become tools of police across the globe

The world of ‘Robo-Cop’ is coming closer, as unmanned drones are about to be deployed by cops in cities across the world including New York, the NYPD confirmed today.

The eye in the sky has brought ‘Big Brother’ and CCTV into new realms as the NYPD prepare to introduce the spy in the sky over crime hotspots.

The devices which are used in war zones to execute and kill insurgents, and now will have the same capacity, but it's understood that it will only be used as a camera spy and will not be called upon to utilize its laser sharp killing capacity.

The NYPD described it as a valuable weapon against crime but privacy advocates are concerned that it is the thin end of the wedge and will ultimately result in a ‘Robo-Cop' world, with drones being directed to shoot by officers at a police base, operating the machines remotely just as the military currently do.

The force says that it has yet to deploy drones full-time but said that it was checking out all options and see it as particularly useful to the fire department.

They’re looking at “what’s on the market, what’s available”, the NYPD’s head of intelligence told the New York Daily News.

Drones were tested in a high crime area, Brownsville, Brooklyn in 2011, and were used to detect gun fire and then direct officers to the spot where the guns were discharged.

Funds to test it further have already been allocated to the tune of €500,000 and it seems that it is only a matter of time before they become part of the city’s skyline.

Officers are hoping that the drone could not only identify the gunshot locations but also photograph the shooters from a mile high in the sky.

Up to 70% of gunshot incidents go unreported, the force explained.

Chicago, Miami and Boston already use them but warrants are required to film backyards and into homes in Miami.

Privacy group, the Civil Liberties Union said that while “drone can be useful in law enforcement but should not become a vehicle for widespread secret surveillance of the private space of innocent New Yorkers”, the Daily News reported.