DroneWISE presented on EFUS Webconferences on Innovation in Urban Security: Session 3: The use of drones in cities What opportunities and challenges?

DroneWISE presented on EFUS Webconferences on Innovation in Urban Security

Session 3: The use of drones in cities

What opportunities and challenges?

European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) was founded in 1987 under the auspices of the Council of Europe. EFUS is the only European network of local and regional authorities dedicated to urban security. It includes nearly 250 local and regional authorities from 16 countries. In 2018, EFUS set up a working group on Security & Innovation that seeks to harness the opportunities of smart and hyper connected cities to improve crime prevention and urban security.

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On 22 January 2021, EFUS organised a web conference on the use of drones in the cities. In recent years, the use of drones in urban areas has greatly increased. They are employed to enhance urban mobility, to monitor environmental accidents and crimes, to survey public and green spaces, to control mass gatherings, to prevent illegal waste disposal, to monitor traffic, to inspect infrastructure facilities and to collect and transmit data – to name only a few use cases. The global health crisis related to the Covid-19 pandemic has stirred up the public discourse on the use of drones for monitoring and surveillance purposes. The use of these technologies is also subject to criticism concerning the right to privacy and data protection. Additional risks are related to the potential of cybersecurity breaches and malicious uses of drones.

To better understand where we stand today in terms of use cases, the potential risks and the legislative framework, EFUS wanted to discuss following questions:

  • What use cases exist today in European cities? Are drones used for tackling petty crime?
  • What are the European legislative regulations concerning the use of drones?
  • What are the benefits and risks of employing drones? What ethical and social considerations exist?
  • Beyond the police force, what other local actors could benefit from the use of drones and to respond to what problem?

Among other projects, DroneWISE was presented, and its First-Responder Agency Operational Briefing from January 2021 was shown to the participants.