Flying eyes for city cops

Victoria Police will soon launch its first ever drone unit, with a focus on counter-terrorism and crowd control that could concentrate them around the CBD.

In a press conference on July 10, inspector Craig Shepherd said the drones would be a boost to the capability of police across the state – from public order response to search and rescue.

“The drones we plan to use will have a 24/7 ability, with high-end technology allowing for both day and night camera vision,” inspector Shepherd said.

The unit will be based at Essendon Airport, but most crowd-related and counter-terrorism work will conceivably occur in the CBD.

Inspector Shepherd downplayed concerns at the media conference about privacy in crowd and public order situations. 

Victoria Police aims to acquire up to 50 drones over the next 12 months to be used by the new drone unit, as well as specialist areas and regional officers. 

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