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Swedish Police Deploy Surveillance Drones to Stop Crime Wave in Blighted Areas

CC0 / / Drone Phantom Dji
Drone Phantom Dji  - Sputnik International
Footage from surveillance drones flying around what are formally called “particularly vulnerable areas” will be used as evidence in a trial to get a conviction if witnesses are absent.

On 17 October, the Malmö Police will use drones with camera surveillance in some of Sweden's third-largest city's most blighted residential areas in order to prevent ongoing crime.

The drones are seen as a complement and aid to police officers who work around the clock in the areas.

“Pictures from the drones help us to get a quicker look at events and thereby also get to the current location faster,” Johannes Dontsios, group manager for the local police area Malmö South, said in a statement.

The police have the right to surveil a scene with a camera without permission in case of a high risk of serious crime. The purpose of such surveillance is therefore to prevent, stop or detect crime. The police are also entitled to use the film material during investigation and prosecution work.

“This means that the footage can be used as evidence in a trial, which can sometimes be decisive for getting a convict in, say, the absence of witnesses,” Johannes Dontsios explained.

The maiden flight of surveillance drones in Malmö will take place on 17 October 2019 between 13:00 and 23:00. Drone operators are not permitted to film in private apartments and other privacy-compromising locations, only in public places.

The Malmö police debuted the use of drones earlier this month, deploying them during a football match between MFF and IFK Gothenburg on 6 October.

The three districts of Nydala, Hermodsdal and Lindängen, where drone surveillance will commence operation today, all feature in Sweden's list of “particularly vulnerable areas”. This is in effect an official euphemism for a no-go zone or ghetto. To be classified as a “particularly vulnerable area”, a district has to tick off one or several criteria, such as 'parallel structures' of authority, a lack of policing, religious extremism, rampant crime, and segregation. As of 2019, Sweden had 22 of those.

All the three districts have in recent months been hit by serious crime including murder, street shootings and explosions.

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