Thursday, 26 September 2013

Roger finds that surveillance drones are not being used over Birmingham Hall Green

Roger took action to investigate whether unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, have ever been used for surveillance in the skies over Birmingham Hall Green.

He tabled Parliamentary Questions asking the Government for more information about the regulatory framework for the civil use of drones, and about whether the surveillance camera code of practice applies to the use of drones by public authorities. He has also written to the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, asking for clarification on whether the police force have used, or are using, drones for surveillance in Birmingham.

Roger says: “I believe that the people of Birmingham have the right to know whether surveillance drones are being used by police in their city. While no one objects to the police gathering the information they need to keep people safe, it is important that public authorities are accountable to the citizens they serve. If surveillance equipment such as drones is being used in Birmingham, people have the right to know about it. I therefore wrote to West Midlands Police to ask whether drones have been used over Birmingham.”

The Chief Inspector responded with the reassurance that the police force has never owned or deployed any drones or unmanned aerial vehicles. Roger says: “I am pleased to be able to reassure my constituents that there is no ‘eye in the sky’ watching over Birmingham Hall Green.”

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