Crowd dispersal can often turn out to be tricky business for authorities. While spraying water at enormous pressures or firing rubber bullets, crowd dispersal teams end up piling many casualties at times. Lucknow police seems to have employed yet another ‘tool of the trade’ for this particular purpose in crowd control drones.
The idea of drones taking charge is naturally scary given its widespread use in warzones of late. This batch is far less terrorizing since it is loaded with nothing but pepper. That’s right; the drone is designed in such a way that it sprays pepper at the crowd in order to disperse them. That’s not all; it is capable of taking pictures as well as capturing footage to catch suspects on tape.
Use of drones for crowd dispersal could set a dangerous precedent for protesters in oppressive countries around the world
The Senior Superintendent of Lucknow Police confirmed that the Police department bought a total of five drone cameras that can lift as much as two kilograms of weight. These drones have previously been employed in Uttar Pradesh for the primary purpose of scoping out troubled regions in the northern state but this marks the first instance of its use in crowd control.
Interestingly, these drones were first tested out in various large festivals in India before the Police department decided to purchase them. The other alternative was to hire them, of course, but the Police department was more than impressed with the kind of effectiveness showcased by this batch of pepper-spraying drones.
Skunk Riot Control Copter can shoot pepper spray balls as well as plastic balls at a pace of 80 each second
A drone manufacturer in South Africa, Desert Wolf, took the wraps off Skunk Riot Control Copter – a drone that introduced this very design – at the IFSEC security exhibition. It comes equipped with four paintball guns that can shoot pepper spray balls as well as plastic balls at a pace of 80 each second. The idea was to prevent another accident like Marikana which led to the demise of 44 people following a police strike on a platinum mine based in South Africa.