Drones to monitor German trains in attempt to stop graffiti

Quote:Small drones could soon be spying on vandals under plans announced by Germany's national railway company Deutsche Bahn.

The idea is to use airborne infrared cameras to film people spraying graffiti and then use the images as evidence in court.

The drones have four helicopter-style rotors and can shoot high-resolution pictures.

A spokesman says Deutsche Bahn plans to start testing the vehicles soon.

"We are going to use this technology in problem areas, where taggers are most active," the spokesman told AFP.

The drones can fly at altitudes of up to 150 metres and travel at up to 54 kilometres per hour.

Deutsche Bahn said it suffered property damage worth 7.6 million euros ($10 million) from people spray-painting its carriages last year.

The rail operator said it would only use the drones over its own depots, not in public areas, in line with German anti-surveillance laws.

Internet giant Google ran into problems in Germany when it filmed streets for its global Street View project, with thousands of residents complaining and Google being forced to blur many of the images.
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This doesn't really belong in this thread, but it isn't totally off topic!

The Telegraph Wrote:Sydney's State Rail to trial high-pitched devices to get vandals to buzz off

EXCLUSIVE by Mark Morri
The Daily Telegraph
May 28, 2013 12:00AM

STATE Rail is set to trial high-pitched Mosquito devices to drive young people away from graffiti hot spots.

The technology emits an irritating high-frequency buzzing noise only people aged 13 to 24 can hear and is used by police forces and councils around the world in areas where teenagers are known to cause trouble.

It is understood State Rail plans to test the devices in known trouble spots for graffiti such as rail depots and subway tunnels, where vandals cause millions of dollars damage each year.

Early discussions propose the devices be used between 10pm and 4am and not be installed at railway stations or near the general public.

"We're looking at a range of initiatives and technologies to crack down on graffiti vandals, including this idea for graffiti hot spots on railway land that is away from public areas," Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said.

The government is cautious about releasing details of the plans because of criticism about use of the devices by civil libertarians in Europe when they were first used throughout the UK in 2006.

More than 3500 councils and police forces now use them in Britain.

"No decision has been made on the use of this particular technology," Ms Berejiklian said.

The Mosquito emits a pulsed high-frequency tone which has been proven to disperse groups of young people because the noise annoys them so much they move on.

Manufacturers say it usually takes between five and 15 minutes to take effect and teenagers will move on because of the constant and persistent high-frequency noise which they can only endure for a short period.

Opponents say it is cruel and discriminatory against young people. Last year Wyndham East Kimberley Shire in West Australia came under fire from children's advocates after it installed the controversial devices.

The local Tuckerbox supermarket also turned to the device to ward off unruly youths but an opposition centre argued it simply pushed the problem on to it.

Kununurra Chamber of Commerce president Brad Williams, who also manages the Kununurra Shopping Centre, said while the Mosquito devices were effective in driving away young people, they were not necessarily the long-term solution.

"Since Tuckerbox installed their own (Mosquito devices), damage and graffiti has gone up at my shopping centre," Mr Williams said. "If you have a problem of kids loitering and you employ these devices they will loiter somewhere else, probably private property."

He said he was in two minds whether to install them at his own shopping centre.


"Cruel and discriminatory"? Because you want to deter criminals? In that case guard dogs must be cruel and discriminatory too... :rolleyes
Graham R - Dalby Qld
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