February 24, 2024

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Queensland Police Force Deploys Advanced Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

The Queensland Police Force is getting ready to introduce two advanced Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in the northern region of the state as part of an ongoing experiment to support officers on the front lines.

The state-of-the-art Teledyne FLIR SkyRanger R70, utilised by military forces worldwide, has become a part of the Queensland Police Service’s inventory and is currently undergoing evaluation before being deployed in the cities of Townsville and Cairns.

The latest Remotely Piloted Aircraft will join the other chosen aircraft participating in the trial, the DJI M30 RPAS. It has already been providing support to officers in the area by interrupting and hindering criminal activities.

The training of Queensland Police Service RPAS pilots in the cities of Townsville and Cairns took place in December 2022, and soon, additional aircraft familiarisation training for the R70 will commence. Once the advanced training has been completed, the R70 will be ready for operation in Cairns and Townsville along with the M30.

On 19 December 2023, the DJI M30 RPAS was used to help police in Townsville during a situation involving a stolen vehicle and its six occupants who fled after the successful deployment of a tire deflation device.

With the help of the M30 RPAS, three suspects involved in suspected property crime and stolen vehicle offenses were taken into custody. The RPAS pilot monitored the situation and communicated crucial information to officers from the Queensland Police Service Tactical Crime Squad.

The Acting Deputy Commissioner stated that the trials of the new Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems have been demonstrating positive results in the cities of Townsville and Cairns. The Acting Deputy Commissioner also said that they are pleased to see the Police force’s aerial capabilities in the north boosted with these high-tech systems.

Rapid technological advancements are taking place in many aspects of daily life, and this serves as another demonstration of how technology can be used to achieve improved outcomes. The Queensland Police Service has had a successful track record of using Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for many years in specialised units. However, this new, high-quality, and advanced aircraft with the capability of performing missions raises the bar even higher.

It will enhance the capabilities of the police by providing them with better quality tools and advanced image analytical capabilities.

The Minister of Police stated that the state government is dedicated to ensuring that the Queensland Police Service has access to the latest technology to aid in their fight against crime. He added that the drones have great potential in helping police to keep people safe and we are already seeing that. He commended the QPS for adapting new technologies to provide enhanced levels of support to community safety.

The newly introduced aerial assets to the Queensland Police Service have the capability to enhance the intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities of the police force; they are equipped with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), which can be used to track vehicles. This can provide law enforcement with crucial information that can help them in their investigations and efforts to prevent and combat crime.

The use of such technology helps increase the efficiency and effectiveness of police operations, enabling them to better serve and protect their communities. With the integration of cutting-edge technology into their work, the police force can remain at the forefront of the fight against crime.


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