Police department breaching security by hiring drones from private firms, says Kerala criminologist

A file photo of a drone.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: According to James Vadakkumchery, criminologist, the police department is doing a wrong thing by hiring UAVs from private firms. He said it is a security breach and they should refrain from doing so. “Drones can be used in surveillance and law and order maintenance. For example, if the police used a drone for a mass demonstration which turned violent, then the visuals from drones could be an evidence. So the device should be presented in the court. So if they use hired drones, it can lead to some legal complications. So the police should buy brand new drones,” he said. 

Meanwhile, a top administrative officer of the state police said the tendering process for purchasing UAVS is underway and Rs 45 lakh was allocated for the same. He said the police are planning to purchase three UAVs in the initial phase and to buy more in the later phases. Sources said the police have decided to purchase UAVs equipped with night mode cameras and it could move at a speed of 25 kilometres per hour. 

When Express contacted State Police Chief Loknath Behera, he said they could not purchase the devices all of a sudden as it requires certain procedure. “There are some guidelines issued by the Union Government and defence ministry where to use the drones. We can’t use it near high-security zones and near installations. So, talks are on with the people including Defence Research and Development Organisation to come up with a viable solution. Hopefully, we can purchase some more UAVs in the coming financial year,” Behera said. 

He also pointed out he never hired UAVs from private firms or commercial market and they hired the devices from a university in Tamil Nadu. “We can’t hire the devices from the commercial market. So we hired the device from universities so that it could be secure,” Behera added.

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