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Paris police to invest in drones to boost security
A BRI officer works with a drone during an operation. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Paris police to invest in drones to boost security

Catherine Edwards · 25 Apr 2016, 16:25

Published: 25 Apr 2016 16:25 GMT+02:00

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The city’s police have launched a tender for the purchase and maintenance of two surveillance drones.

Police were unable to comment on the role of the drones, simply confirming to Le Parisien that “the process is underway”.

According to the tender, the role of the unmanned camera drones will be “aerial surveillance missions at a low altitude”.

It is likely that they would come into action during demonstrations or large gatherings while the capital remains under the state of emergency - which is likely to be recently extended until after the Euro 2016 championships.

Fears have been growing about a terror threat at the championships, but France has insisted the games will have "maximum security" and numerous training exercises, including simulated attacks, have been carried out.

“Several DOSTL (technical and logistical services) workers have already been trained,” a police source told Le Parisien.

Indeed, tests were carried out using drones in September 2014 at a Ligue 2 football match. The BRI (Research and Intervention Brigade), an elite unit of the Interior Ministry specializing in serious crimes and anti-terrorism, have been using drones in operations for several months.

(A BRI officer works with a drone during an operation.Photo: AFP)

Story continues below…

By law, those living in the area must be informed if they will be observed by drones; this also happened at the Paris Marathon.

A modification of the law governing drones made on January 1st ruled that police drones may be exempted from many of the restrictions “when this is warranted by requirements of public order and security”.

Other security measures put in place have been increased CCTV, including cameras which can detect 'suspicious behaviour', and the introduction of 3,000 undercover armed guards to patrol French trains

Catherine Edwards (catherine.edwards@thelocal.com)

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