Australia How drones are changing the face of policing in Australia
Cars set on fire in Newtownabbey spark fears of further trouble in Northern Ireland
Disturbances have broken out in Newtownabbey fuelling fears of another night of trouble ahead in Northern Ireland. Three cars were hijacked and set on fire in the loyalist O'Neill/Doagh Road area of Newtownabbey, on the outskirts of Belfast, on Saturday evening.A large crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the unrest unfold at the Cloughfern roundabout. Video footage showed cars being burned and a police van being targeted.The Police Federation for Northern Ireland has called for an end of the violence, saying people destroying their own communities is "not the way to protest or vent".
When Tasmanianwere searching for an alleged murderer in bushland in the state's north, it was a that tracked the suspect down.
Before the man's arrest, Tasmania Police described him as a skilled bushman, adept in the wild, and possibly having camouflage paint on his face and armed with a knife.
Tasmania Police said "significant" resources were used in the January search, including specialist and uniform personnel, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging and a chopper.
But it was a handheld drone, operated remotely by a trained police pilot, that spotted the suspect and made the breakthrough, with digital eyes in the air directing officers on the ground to the alleged murderer's location.
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Australian state and territory police forces are increasingly leaning on their drone units to carry out operations just like the manhunt in Tasmania.
NSW Police, with 100 drones and 90 pilots, has the biggest fleet in the country, according to information gathered by nine.com.au.
Police forces across Australia are using drones to track suspects, conduct search and rescue operations, map crime scenes, assist road safety enforcement and to surveil armed siege incidents and monitor natural disasters.
Drones are now "a vital tool" in the fight against crime, a Tasmania Police spokesperson said.
NSW Police said its 100-strong fleet of drones regularly "supports front line policing operations", and that high-tech in the air can reduce the risk to conventional police units and the community.
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There's nothing progressive about leaving these people to fend for themselves. Nobody has the silver bullet to ending this crime wave, but you can't solve a problem you can't even bring yourself to acknowledge. Zaid Jilani is a journalist who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked as a reporter-blogger for ThinkProgress, United Republic, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Alternet. He is the cohost of the podcast "Extremely Offline." The views in this article are the author's own.
"[Drones] provide aerial platforms for policing major events," the NSW Police spokesperson said, alluding to the impressive power of camera-enabled drones to observe mass public gatherings.
Of the other Australian police forces willing to divulge the number of drones in operation, Victoria Police confirmed they had 30 drones, and Tasmania 23 drones and 19 pilots.
The Australian Federal Police, Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory did not want to discuss specifics, citing protection of methodologies.
Only Australian Capital Territory Police and Western Australia Police did not respond to comment.
Hunt for missing Australian academic who mysteriously vanished
Lisa Lines, 40, a respected historian, author and former University of NSW lecturer, is the subject of an investigation by policing agency Interpol and is believed to be living overseas with her kids.Lisa Lines, 40, a respected historian, author and former University of NSW lecturer, is the subject of an investigation by policing agency Interpol.
In the past financial year, Tasmania Police pilots launched drones in 227 operations.
"These new drones are an exciting new tool to be used in a wide variety of areas of policing," a Tasmania Police spokesperson said, discussing the merits of the small, easily maneuverable devices.
"We have had a number of successes across the state where offenders in stolen and evading vehicles have been apprehended with drone support.
"We have also located a number of stolen vehicles in bushland by using drones and have deployed drones to assist in searches for missing Tasmanians."
Leading(AI) expert Dr Toby Walsh, a UNSW professor, said police drones of the future will only become more powerful and capable, which has the potential to raise .
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2nd Lt. Caron Nazario’s lawsuit shows policing’s systemic racial issues can’t just be boiled down to a few bad apples.The incident, which took place in in Windsor, Virginia, in December 2020, has come under new scrutiny following the release of body camera footage, and after Nazario filed a lawsuit in early April against the officers who made the stop. Saturday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced an investigation into what he called a “disturbing” incident.
"There are some good uses of the technology in terms of being about to surveil and track people and conduct search and rescue operations," Dr Walsh said.
"But there are also worrying sides too, like surveilling large crowds in a way that changes our notion of privacy.
"The concerns potentially arise as the drones and technology get more sophisticated and the drones become autonomous."
Autonomous drones do not require a human pilot, with the machines instead able to fly through AI and powerful computing systems.
General trends in drone and technology tend to emerge first in the military and then cross over into police, Dr Walsh said.
"US foot soldiers in Afghanistan and Syria used small drones strapped to their wrists that they could launch off their hand to fly into potentially dangerous compounds to see if there were any bad guys around the corner.
"Drones can be very useful in these high-risk situations, and that's an instance that could be extremely useful for police."
Once the size of a family car, some drones now are no bigger than a bird or even an insect, and capable of covert and complex flight patterns.
That kind of aerial capability, paired with AI and computer systems able to churn complex oceans of data, adds up to a formidable technology.
The Chinese government has deployed facial recognition software on its autonomous drones that can easily find a single person in a vast outdoor concert-sized crowd, Dr Walsh said.
"That takes us to a totally different place because humans simply can't do that."
Video edit and production: Tara Blancato
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Life-size military DRONE will hang over a busy Midtown Manhattan road .
New Yorkers visiting the High Line art exhibition next month will see a large fiberglass sculpture shaped like a Predator drone rising 25ft above the ground created by artist Sam Durant.The exhibit is likely to upset locals who have been reeling for the last year from a pandemic which has claimed the lives of 32,000 city residents and are not keen on seeing protest pieces about American military policies abroad.