Drones tested by police forces across Sweden

Police in Sweden have purchased several unmanned aircraft to test how authorities might use them as part of their work in future.

Drones tested by police forces across Sweden
A drone in use in Oslo. Photo: TT
The drones will be tried out across the country, with the aim of using them for official police duties by the summer.
Per Engström, team leader at the Swedish National Police Board in Stockholm said the aircraft were “small” but “more robust” than popular drones used by amateur enthusiasts.
He said that a key goal was to use the machines as part of mountain rescue work, but added that police were also considering using them for other “operational activities”.
“Instead of sending a person into a dangerous area we can send in one of these instead,” he told the TT news agency.
A further possibility is using the drones to fly above demonstrations and film them, to provide officers a different view of a disturbance than they might currently get from police vans or helicopters.
Drones, which are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are either controlled by 'pilots' from the ground or autonomously following a pre-programmed mission.
They have already been used for intelligence gathering by various military forces around the world since the 1980s. The aircraft have become an especially popular tool with the US Air Force, which has used them to crack down on terrorists in countries including Yemen and Pakistan.
Police in Sweden have been mulling using the technology for several years and the latest project follows preliminary investigations after the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) was awarded funds to investigate possible applications of drones.
Further examples of when the unmanned aerial vehicles could be of use include at oil spills and at crime scenes when forensic scientists could send in the drones to take pictures, reducing the risk of evidence being destroyed.
"Instead of barging in and destroying things, we would be able to document exactly how it looked," said Per Engström last May.
He added that the aircraft could also be used for reconnaissance purposes, for example if someone is hiding in an apartment. The "drone" could then be sent up to peer through a window or take pictures of the apartment's interior.