Dr Michael Salter, University of Western Sydney - Evaluating the effectiveness of unmanned aerial vehicles for law enforcement

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Information about Dr Michael Salter, University of Western Sydney - Evaluating the...

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: informaoz

Source: slideshare.net


delivered the presentation at the 2014 Police Technology Forum.

The Police Technology Forum 2014 seeks to address technology innovation, evolution and development within Australia’s law enforcement industry.

In two days, a panel of experts gather to examine opportunities, initiatives and issues facing organisations both in front line policing as well as in wider law enforcement industry, including transport, border protection and surveillance.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/policetechforum

Dr Michael Salter University ofWestern Sydney michael.salter@uws.edu.au

 A new capability or technology is made available.  Exaggerated claims about it’s utility flourish, driven partly by the marketing and sales imperatives of the industry.  The imagined benefits don’t arriving as forecast, attracting doubt and pessimism.  This can pave the way for serious misreadings, or underestimation of the longer term impact of a particular innovation. Gartner’s hype cycle

“Originally even basic drones cost upwards of a million dollars but today they can be purchased for as little as $50,000 and the price continues to fall …” Mr Dempsey said helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft were useful "when it comes to search and rescue activities". "But of course they are limited by fuel capacity and fuel availability in remote areas," he said. "With some drones able to fly and hover for days and weeks on end, we'd be able to keep a single aircraft up for much longer while beaming back real-time video which, together with traditional aircraft, would complement most search and rescue activities.“ Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey, Courier Mail, March 16 2013

The quadcopters are also ideal for quick inspections of towers, buildings, or premises when police are searching for explosive devices, or after a fire or an explosion. SouthAustralian Police Minister, Michael O'Brien,The Advertiser, June 29 2013

•Accident investigation • Search and rescue • Drug plantation investigations • Disaster management •Crowd control • Explosive ordinance disposal • Hostage and barricade situations •CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence) incident •Covert tactical surveillance • Forensic scenes • Support for arrest warrants •Gunfire rescue of officers and citizens •VIP security support • Perimeter security

 Approximately two dozen American police forces have applied to the Federal AviationAuthority for UAV permits.  The majority have never deployed UAVs in the field.  Congressional Research Service report (2010) and Department of Justice audit (2013) suggest:  Purported benefits of UAVs did not manifest in the field  UAVs outmatched by manned aircraft in terms of utility and cost effectiveness  Lack of evaluation data for rigorous cost-benefit analysis  Ongoing safety concerns  One criminal conviction linked to UAVs in nine years of use.

 Incorporation of military technology into policing legitimised with reference to terrorism, hostage taking.  These transfers include military training and tactics that are deployed more widely than initially planned.  Technology is not politically neutral and brings with it unintended effects.

Assessing police militarization using continuums*. Kraska P B Policing 2007;1:501-513 Copyright © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press.

 UAVs are an emerging technology.  At present, it is not clear whether UAVs are appropriate, cost effective or safe for law enforcement.  There is a vital need for police and government to:  Critically interrogate the claims of manufacturers and industry groups  Be clear and realistic about the purposes for which UAVs are purchased  To carefully and rigorously gather data on the utility and effectiveness of UAVs.  Important to consider the social and political implications of military technology for law enforcement.

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