The Eye in the Sky
The Eye in the Sky iStock

Last week, 20 drones were distributed to police stations around the country for use against criminal activity.In the foreseeable future, every police station is to be equipped with a drone.Police claim operators have been given explicit instructions regarding privacy protection.Whatever is captured by the camera and not considered relevant to the investigation "will be forbidden for use", reports Israel Hayom.

The new system was established several months ago after three years of staff work to assist field units in a variety of areas, including law enforcement, "security activity", and maintaining public order.The machines, operated by the police aerial unit, complement other police helicopter activity.

The 20 drones handed to police in various field positions were deployed after the officers were authorized to fly them, receiving a special flight permit from the Civil Aviation Authority.Over 30 operators were trained to handle the more than 50 drones of the Lahav variety that were purchased.At this stage, 14 drones were transferred to 14 police stations and units, ranging from the Yarden station in the north to the Eilat area in the south.

Face recognition technology
Face recognition technology iStock

In an operational experiment conducted by the police for eight months and led by the air force, the drones' capabilities were tested in a variety of tasks, including searches, documentation and scanning.

Chief Superintendent Gadi Wiener of the drone division told Israel Hayom that in the foreseeable future, every unit and police station will have independent aerial capability. Drones will be operated independently at the discretion of police station and field unit commanders utilizing the knowledge and training of the pilots, in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Drone in operation
Drone in operation Flash 90

"The drone is able to give an independent aerial view to the station commander or unit in everything related to the documentation of an area, missing person search, drowning, burglary and escapes, public order, demonstrations, and accidents," said Chief Superintendent Wiener. "The move is intended to improve outlying unit's capabilities in an optimal and rapid manner."

The array of drone deployment adds to a series of moves, operations, and reinforcements that the police Operations Branch has led in recent months. During the last few weeks, among other improvements, the municipal policing system was expanded, new patrol units were established and patrol cars were upgraded.