France OKs police drones amid rioting despite public wariness
As a reflection of just how strong public sentiment in France remains against police use of drones to monitor people, officials waited well into the nation’s six-straight nights of rioting before giving law enforcement agencies the green light to fly UAVs for security purposes in response to the unrest.
The first authorization of drone flights to provide police aerial views of neighborhoods wracked by rioting were handed down last Thursday, 48 hours after the first incidents of what became nightly violence across France.
Since then, other regional police prefectures have slowly followed suit, with most finally permitting nighttime drone deployment around major France’s major cities on Saturday. It wasn’t until Sunday – ahead of what became the sixth and reportedly calmest night of unrest – that officials in Paris approved aerial surveillance for the capital and surrounding suburbs.