Mexican City Uses Drones to Successfully Reduce Crime

Drones have been all over the news recently for both good and bad reasons. Fortunately, there seems to be more positive news about them. In Mexico, a single drone has helped reduce the crime rate in the city of Ensenada by 10%. The drone has taken to the skies, patrolling the city for several months now and making a huge impact. The Ensenada police department stated that the DJI drone was responsible for over 500 arrests and the drop in the overall crime rate, which includes a 30% drop in home robberies.

Drones may have been originally used by the military, but today, their uses are becoming more and more widespread. However, there is still concern and debate over the regulations and operations of drones. A few weeks ago, Google stated that it will not renew the Project Maven contract with the Department of Defense due to a petition by over 4,500 employees. The canceled project was for the development of artificial intelligence systems that would analyze drone surveillance videos.

However, Mexico is a different story. The city of Ensenada has clearly benefited from the drone surveillance. Jesus Ramos Avendano, a police officer for the Ensenada police explained that the drone has helped catch criminals in the act, as well as reduction of police response times. During a four month period, the police department flew the drone on average of about 25 missions daily, amounting to a total of 1,600 flights.

They controlled the drone from a local command station and used a software system that automates most of the routes, as well as landings and takeoffs. Anyone who is authorized by the police department can view the streaming video from their desk or while on patrol. Chris Rittler is CEO of the software company, Cape. He stated that about a dozen drones could cover a city like Ensenada so with just a single drone, it needs to multitask. The drone can respond to an emergency call and  may even be rerouted based on the priority of a call.

The most common way the drone is utilized is to pinpoint the location where a crime is being committed, then the police can view the steaming footage in real time while on route. This makes emergency response safer and less of a surprise to the officers who have been monitoring the crime in real time. The city hopes to eventually add more drones and other cities will surely follow.

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