Dubai policing drones nab thousands for petty crimes

Just to show that drones work in policing operations, we share the below story, courtesy of Al Bayan newspaper. We are aware there could be some issues of privacy to consider, though.

Authorities in Dubai recorded 4,400 violations for a variety of offences during the first quarter of the year. The method used to record the violations?


According to a report from Al-Bayan newspaper, policing drone technology – the first-of-its-kind project in the region – helped control street security and pursue offenders in an innovative way, as drones are equipped by high technology that enables them to identify wanted faces in high resolution and take photos in alleys and narrow places.

During the first quarter of this year, 4,400 violations were recorded. Out of these, 518 were for failure to wear face masks as part of Covid safety protocols, and 37 were for jaywalking.

The police also recorded 2,933 traffic violations, 128 cycling violations, 159 violations for wanted cars, and 706 violations against electric bicycles. Drones also monitored cases of drug dealing, enabling police to nab the perpetrators in real time.

According to Naif Police, the project was launched as an experiment with two drones in Naif and achieved great success.

Thanks to their small size and advanced technology, drones were able to identify faces and car plate numbers with high efficiency, with cameras able to detect close-up images of the street from above.

Brigadier General Dr Tariq Tahlak, Director of Naif Police Station, indicated that several fraudsters were monitored with drones and caught in the act, as police teams were directed to their location and arrested them within seconds.

“The project was launched after thorough studies, where two drones were used in the area of competence of Naif police, which has a different geographical nature, where it includes residential, commercial and densely populated areas and visitors, and the project was subjected to,” said Tahlak. “The drones achieved great success, by monitoring and recording violations of people and cars efficiently. Thanks to the high quality cameras attached to them, they were able to recognise faces and car numbers efficiently, as well as monitor between alleys, which provides a security database, to be used later.”

Recordings could also be used to monitor and analyse street movement in order to reduce crime and fill security gaps, he added.

For his part, Colonel Omar Ashour, Deputy Director of Naif Police Station, said that the drones are operated at peak hours. He added that recordings from the cameras have allowed victims to recognise suspects in record time.


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