RCMP, Drones and You

Back in June of last year I requested everything the RCMP had on drones from the past three years, including agreements with the DHS. What I got back was a large 79.8 MB PDF talking about various drone studies and all the current plans the RCMP have for drones. It seems that the main use for drones is currently for traffic accidents. It details the various drones that certain divisions are using.

The uses that are listed by the RCMP for their Dragonfly drones specifically mention the following:

  • Tactical Troop: Perching and observing crowds, videotaping troop formations in training</li>
  • Major events: Observing crowd behaviour, flow of persons/traffic, pre-planning</li> </ul> One thing that the RCMP mention is that they don't intend to use it for surveillance, since they saw the backlash in the United States. The thing is that observing major events can be used as surveillance, for example, a protest march can be a major event, and while they may be saying that they're not conducting surveillance, this is really playing fast and loose with definitions. That being said, thanks to Transport Canada, drones can't be flown over groups of people, like in an urban setting like Occupy. Also, it seems that city councils could shut down possible drone usage. I doubt that this would happen where the RCMP have jurisdiction, but I would be interested in filing a similar request to the VPD to see what they're going to do with drones, and it'd be interesting to see how VPD plays out. Finally, the off-the-shelf nature of some of these drones is interesting. It seems that the OPP and the Saskatchewan RCMP are the leaders in adopting drones for use in Canada, with others lagging behind. It appears that much of the drones that are used by the RCMP aren't much different than those used by hobbyists. As usual, the file is below. I think this is the last of the outstanding RCMP requests that I received. A201204038_2013-02-05_06-48-48.PDF</a>