The Western Australia police force is to invest heavily in drone technology that will give it significant new aerial capability for a variety of police work.
Over the next year, the force says it will train 60 drone pilots and purchase more than 40 drones.
These will patrol metropolitan and regional areas and be used in situations such as mapping accident scenes, tracking suspects who are on the run, and searching for people over land or water.
State government recently bought 35 drones
The drones bought for police use are in addition to 35 drones purchased by the WA state government in November 2019 to undertake a range of tasks.
Assistant Commissioner for Specialist and Support Services, Paul Zanetti, said the drones will be used to assist frontline police officers and improve the overall efficiency of many tasks undertaken by the force.
According to the chief remote pilot for the WA force, Paul Wimsett, the first phase of the drones will be deployed to the major crash unit to assist in obtaining a better understanding of crash scenes and mapping them out for further examination.
Drones used to enhance social distancing
The drones first to be deployed will be the DJI Phantom 4 RTK and the Matrice 210 RTK.
DroneDJ, a specialist drone industry website, says police in Australia have deployed drones during the coronavirus pandemic to blast messages out using a loudspeaker to ensure people are social distancing in public areas.
“Many states in Australia have used drones to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” the website stated.
“Drones were also considered as a possible method to disinfect streets and Australian malls. Australian company Swoop Aero have come up with a plan to use its medical drones to deliver COVID-19 tests around the country,” it said.