British police want UAVs to watch civilians during the 2012 Olympics

In what's sure to be a popular idea, Britain's Kent Police Department wants to use unmanned aerial vehicles to keep tabs on the massive crowds during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Now, before you start thinking that Ministries and doublethink are soon to follow, Olympic games mean a large influx of people to keep track of, and that means spreading security pretty thin.

Evidently UAV monitoring already has a precedent in Britain through the South Coast Partnership, which uses UAVs to patrol the country's southern coast. UAVs aren't yet cleared to fly the skies over London with other manned aircraft, however.

From Pop Sci:

So far, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Britain's equivalent of the FAA, has not cleared UAVs to fly in the same airspace as manned aircraft. However, the Kent police department has petitioned the CAA to expedite the licensing processes so the police operated UAVs can take to the sky by the time the Olympics starts.

If it goes through, it'll be interesting to see if it's only a temporary measure for the Olympics, or if that level of surveillance remains in place in a city already dominated by CCTV security cameras.

The Guardian, via Futurismic, via Popular Science

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