A French police officer explains how he uses the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise to fight the Coronavirus in Doubs, France, close to the Swiss border. The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise is outfitted with a loudspeaker. This allows the police to fly over certain areas, such as the popular cliffs in Doubs, and look for people who are in violation of the stay-at-home order.
Once the police officer spots someone in violation of the stay-at-home order, he flies the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise closer and uses a pre-recorded message to communicate to that person or persons and urge them to go back home.
France, which now has close to 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, has taken a number of precautionary measures to stop the virus. One of the measures is that people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential purchases or other important reasons. They also need a special certificate to do so.
The police are authorized to issue tickets to people who do not follow these rules. First-time offenders can receive a 135 EUR ($145 USD), whereas repeat offenders can face fines up to 200 EUR ($216 USD) per instance.
A police officer uses DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise to communicate
France 3 Bourgogne-Franche-Comté shared this video online in which a police officer says that:
In less than a minute, I can deploy it (the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise) at the top of the cliffs to see if we have hikers, who are not respecting the containment measures that are in place.
This technique is used almost everyday especially in rural areas to avoid risky behaviors. When I deploy it (the drone) 150 meters from the top we have a very wide view of the urban area, so from that viewpoint, we can quickly spot groups of people or hikers.
If we have to, we can send over police officers to check their certificates and to see if they are allowed to be together as part of a family.
With the hikers, we are getting more serious now because it is not just about the virus and spreading the virus. The hikers or mountain bikers also run the risk of getting hurt, in which case they need help from first responders and may need to be brought to a hospital where there is a virus.”
What do you think of the increased use of drones for surveillance purposes during the Coronavirus pandemic? Do you think this is justified under the current circumstances? Or do you feel that this is government overreach and that countries are slowly changing into police states? Let us know what you think in the comments below.