Lucknow Police to use pepper-spraying drones for crowd control
news Friday, April 10, 2015 - 05:30
Lucknow police are likely to be the first Indian city to use pepper-spraying drones equipped with cameras to control crowds at protests. According a report in The Guardian , Lucknow city police have purchased five drones at a cost of Rs 6 lakh each and are likely to begin using them later this month. The unmanned drones can fly within a radius of one kilometer of the operator, and can carry 2 kg of peppery spray. The operator can keep track of the crowds with the in-built high resolution cameras. The Guardian also says that the Lucknow police have used drones for aerial surveillance including during the celebration of festivals, but this is the first time that weaponised drones. Although Lucknow may be the first Indian city to use drones for crowd control, governments in other countries have done so in the past. According to Sputnik website, drone-making company Desert Wolf had supplied Skunk Riot Control Copter drone to Turkey and South Africa in 2014 for potential use in crowd control. The drone is equipped with four paintball barrels that can fire up to 20 paintballs per second and 80 pepper balls per second. The company says that the drone can carry up to 4,000 balls at a time. In 2012, a Texas police force bought a Vanguard Shadowhawk drone for surveillance, but the police were interested in using weaponised machines fitted with tear gas, Tasers, and rubber bullets.