Law Enforcement and Drones: Are Birds of Prey a Solution?


Law Enforcement and Drones: Are Birds of Prey a Solution?

You’ve heard the news by now. Dutch police have begun training birds of prey to view drones as targets. Tech Insider reports that police in the Netherlands have trained hawks and eagles to fly unwanted drones out of the air. The Los Angeles Times shared the below video from Dutch company, Guard from Above. It demonstrates how the birds are able to take hold of the drones and fly them safely to the ground and out of the way.

Though the birds in the video are trained, wild hawks have shown signs of aggression to drones as well. The New York Post reported in November that a drone flying in a Brooklyn park garnered the attention of two red-tailed hawks. The Post spoke with a bird watcher who caught the moment and said the hawks treated the drone as a predator, circling it from above and beginning to fly towards it. The drone’s owners landed the copter shortly after the hawks took notice.

With natural instincts like that perhaps this method of drone removal will spread. As drones increase in popularity, states are looking for solutions to remove unwanted drones from scenes and private residences.

Two bills in Utah have been proposed that would allow Utah police to remove interfering drones. The drones could be removed as peacefully as convincing the operator to leave the space with the drone or by more forceful methods such as jamming the drone’s signal or shooting the drone down (Fox News).

California has attempted to pass bills that would act similarly, but none have passed Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval. The LA Times has reported that more will be attempted to be approved by the governor this year.

Who knows? Maybe hawks are the answer.

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