Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­”routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.

The arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which produces a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.Documents from the South Coast Partnership, a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan with BAE, have been obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act.

Generally speaking most observers believe that if these devices are used in an urban environment that they can be taken out or rendered useless by directional RF jammers. The Brits will put up with a lot more than will Americans, though. This is a genuine test of the UK Police state.

  1. Ah_Yea says:

    “The Brits will put up with a lot more than will Americans, though.”

    Oh, I sure hope so.

  2. The Pirate says:

    Drones filling the skies in the name of security, the children, antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers will happen in the U.S eventually. Once you discover that you can vote yourself public funds, expect drones to do so.

  3. Dallas says:

    Shut up and be a good consumer of goods and services. This is to protect your sheeple spawn and keep our oil safe from the towel heads!
    There, feel better now?

  4. Faxon says:

    Ya know how marvelous some people thought Google Earth was? Ya know?

    How about the equivalent of a fucking Google car on every block, twenty four hours a day, with TSA style x ray technology? Like that idea?

    Politicians do. Just not on their street.

  5. Target of Opportunity says:

    So? All along every ‘freeway’ in northern California is a sign that “Speed is enforced by aircraft”…

    What’s the difference if the aircraft has a man inside or not?

    It’s amazing how the ‘crazy drivers’ behave themselves when a CHP helicopter is flying down the road…

    I say bring them on. We need a little supervision now and then.

  6. Ah_Yea says:

    I just noticed the plane clearly says “No human occupant”

    My rifle has quite the range…

  7. msbpodcast says:

    I can’t wait until some mechanic forgets to do proper maintenance on the flight systems and one of these fuckers’ goes down in he middle of a city and takes a few civilians apart with the prop. (They aren’t likely to be deployed in the countryside now are they? [Taking pictures of subversive sheep, perhaps?])

    This is a stupid idea.

    I can imagine this being used for crowd control at some politicos’ speech.

    Well gentlemen, think if this as your fly on the wall.
    Discreetly, peering down on the populace 24/7, seeing perfidy and evil where ever it looks, uh, if there happens to be any there… I mean..

    If it could be a fly on the wall, but its a fuckin’ big UAV.

    Until they make a government powerful enough to repeal the law of gravity what goes up must come down.

    At some point, it’ll come down precisely where they didn’t want it to, when they didn’t want it to, on top of who they didn’t want it to, and causing untold carnage on landing.

  8. Faxon says:

    #5 You are an ass.

  9. dusanmal says:

    @#5 Because of “reasonable expectation of privacy”. If it is human in the plane there are human limits on what, how long and how he can survey. Robotic tech’ does not have human limits. Hence, even in open public those violate expectation of privacy because humans do not expect to be (nor ever were, nor can function under it [well documented and published psychological experiments]) under unlimited surveillance.
    Children without developed ability for proper judgment need supervision. Normal humans need to deal with situation without some automated arbitration or force.

  10. msbpodcast says:

    In # 5 Target of Opportunity said: All along every ‘freeway’ in northern California is a sign that “Speed is enforced by aircraft”…

    And it poses a philosophical question, if California is broke (and the Tea Partiers and Republicans are making sure that they stay that way,) even if California bought the aircraft (be they planes or drones) with Federal money, could they afford to pay for anyone to actually fly/monitor the aircraft?

    I suspect that the aircraft would be abandoned at the very next budget screaming match.

  11. MikeN says:

    Big deal. The UK already has teams of roving vans that go home to home to see if you are using a television, for which you must pay an annual fee to government media.

  12. KMFIX says:

    What the hell is an anti-social motorist?

  13. Uncle Patso says:

    “Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­”routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.”

    I’ve heard of cow-tipping, but this is ridiculous!

  14. sargasso_c says:

    Fly tipping is dumping waste in forests, beaches or on the road for the council or land owner to then pay to have removed. The then “fly” or run away to escape detection. A very long time ago as a student I had a summer job in England working with a waste management company. Fly tipping was widespread then, and is probably more so now. People arrived home from vacation to find their farm had become a toxic waste dump. A quarter of a million car tires, asbestos, PCB oil drums, biohazard waste, even human remains. A neighbour rented a “skip” waste bin, mistakingly left the lid unlocked and found a dead horse in it the next morning. You would not believe the shit that goes down in that country.

  15. Milo says:

    Gee, new technology is being implemented.

  16. Rob Leather says:

    Hate to break the news to you all, but this story was from 2010.

    Since then the Police and UK authorities have somewhat cooled on the idea of drones. Something about being SUED INTO THE GROUND should one happen to land on somebodies house.

    Some were bought and never used. You can even buy them!


    Made BAE some cash, but that’s about as far as it got.

  17. Rob Leather says:

    Here we go… the story about how they all got “took down” 🙂


    Basically, nobody bothered to check whether it would be “OK” to fly them. And the Civil Aviation Authority stepped in and said NO! 🙂

    Bless the CAA and all who (now) fly safely in you airspace. 🙂

  18. Animby says:

    # 16 Rob Leather : Thanks for the fact checking.

    Too bad, in a way. My first thought was they would finally put the crop circle myth to rest…

  19. Chris Mac says:

    i can’t wait until you think you know what i’m doing

  20. Chris Mac says:

    ya.. no link

  21. MikeN says:

    They must be charging lots of money for waste removal to have those problems.

  22. Slatts says:


    Eye in the sky arrest could land police in the dock.

    For Merseyside police, the “eye in the sky” arrest was a landmark moment in policing history. The force had managed to track down and apprehend a teenager who had fled from a presumed stolen Renault Clio, senior officers revealed, by using a remote-controlled flying robot equipped with thermal imaging cameras.

    But the attempt to claim credit for the UK’s first arrest using a surveillance drone backfired tonight after it emerged the force itself could face prosecution because officers flew the surveillance aircraft without permission – a criminal offence.

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates UK airspace, confirmed it was investigating Merseyside police over the apparently unauthorised use of its drone to pursue the 16-year-old after he fled from a suspected stolen car in Bootle. It is one of three UK forces using the drones.

    More at the above link.

    Note that the CAA have a policy document on this subject that precludes the use of most drones:


  23. deowll says:

    The Brits have cameras everywhere. One of the problems is that when the bleep hits the fan it often turns out the bleeping thing was turned off to save money as in the Lady Di case.

    Another is that people learn where the cameras aren’t, a third is a hoodie and a face wrap can make it hard to identify most people.

  24. JimD says:

    Perhaps they will be able to catch the Crop Circle-ists in the act !!!

  25. t0llyb0ng says:

    Yes, one can hope the FAA will put a stop to drones on this side of the pond.

    Though they might be useful over remote areas where cattle rustling is becoming a problem.

    But here in southeast Kansas farmers are selling off their cattle because the blistering sun burnt the crap out of the hay & there is none to be had except at outrageous prices.

    Soon there may be nowhere for one to sunbathe nekkid without the feeling that one is “being watched” from above.

  26. Buzz Mega says:

    These will fly until one plows into a commercial jetliner or news helicopter.

    Then: rethink!

  27. Uncle Patso says:

    There was a story on here a year or two back about these drones being tested somewhere in Texas. I wonder what ever happened about that?


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