Fans of Sherlock Holmes will no doubt recognize the name Baker Street Irregulars – the fictional band “children who are employed by Holmes as intelligence agents.” It turns out that pint-sized investigators are still alive and well in the Drone Era.
The Times of India reports that a 12-year-old boy in the Indian district of Dhar located a missing police drone after officers had given up hope.
“The boy pedaled his way to the policemen carrying the drone camera on his bicycle on Saturday and later walked away with a cash reward of 5,000 rupees [$73 USD] announced by the superintendent of police after cops failed to find it,” reports Ashish Gaur.
As first reported in DRONELIFE, Indian police agencies have quickly adopted drone surveillance as a cheap and effective way to monitor potentially violence or unrest at rallies and other public events including contested elections. Such was the case after police deployed three video drones in Bhojshala during simultaneous religious celebrations by Hindus and Muslims (“puja and namaz”) – a potentially incendiary event that has sparked sectarian strife in the past.
After the festivals concluded, police discovered one the drones had plummeted to the ground and could not be found.
Taking a page from Sherlock Holmes, police offered a reward to the public. “We had roped in corporators [businesses], residents and kids living in the near vicinity to trace out the missing drone camera. Policemen along with locals fanned out in different areas,” an official said. The boy, identified only as Bokul, found the camera a day after it crashed and later “was seen collecting the cash reward from [police chief] Dandotiya as other policemen cheered on.”
Police in India have led the way among their international colleagues in adopting UAV tech.
Last month, Indian police agencies used drones to monitor temples and expressways on Republic Day (Jan. 26), the nation’s annual commemoration of the enactment of its constitution in 1950.
“To strengthen vigilance, drone cameras would be used for the first time at major temples at Mathura and Vrindavan, Yamuna Expressway and the Mathura Refinery,” police official Rakesh Singh said.
Delhi Police recently ordered a Netra quadcopter from India’s defense ministry to secure various sites. “This instrument can be extremely useful for surveillance during VVIP functions organized in Delhi from time to time as well as when law and order is threatened,” the police agency stated in its request, specifically referring to Republic Day celebrations.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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