Use of Camera Drones in Residential Security
There has been a lot of discussion recently on the use of drones for both commercial and private use. The reality is that live video feed from an elevated roaming platform can be a very useful tool for residential security team in the correct environment.
Here are TF's thoughts and experiences:
The Environment – Complex domestic estates and urban sites with medium to high population are likely to be a 'non-starter' for private security drone activities.
The ideal environment for drone use is an area where there is minimal human movement, easy terrain to navigate and with minimum aerial obstructions; in the residential security terms this usually means a 'country or rural' estate.
The Capability – Having established a working environment for an aerial live video feed there are several key benefits to be gained.
Using a drone on a virtual patrol of the grounds gives the operations room a great deal of additional situational awareness. It can cover 'dead ground' where CCTV cameras are blind, different angles and viewing manipulation. It also adds a new layer of deterrence in addition/in place of physical patrolling and CCTV.
On occasion detection sensors, CCTV and patrollers will need to verify a discrepancy or potential intrusion. Using a drone may be the quickest and safest method of verification and investigation.
The Costs – There is obviously a cost of equipment in use of a drone to provide a live video feed. But there are also some hidden costs:
There will need to be operator training considerations to be able to use a drone quickly (reacting to a suspicious activity) and competence (to validate any risk assessment of use).
Although it would be unusual to dedicate a taskline for a dedicated drone pilot for a residential estate. It would be also impossible for a CCTV operator to use both a drone and observe CCTV camera in an operations room. Clearly, additional manpower/tasking needs to be considered.
Using new technology, like drone patrolling, is a key enabler to making residential security more efficient and safer.