French police cleared to use drones for crowd monitoring

French police cleared to use drones for crowd monitoring

FILE PHOTO: French gendarmes stand in position during a demonstration in front of the Paris City Hall after French government’s pension reform received the Constitutional Council’s green light and can now be signed into law and enter into force swiftly, i

PARIS (Reuters) – French police is allowed from Friday to use drones equipped with cameras for a wide range of tasks including crowd monitoring and border control, following the publication of a decree in the Official Journal on Thursday.

This comes just over a year before the Paris 2024 Olympics and at a time when opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform has triggered huge protests that at times turned violent.

The decree allows police, customs or military to use drones to prevent attacks on people or property, ensure the security of gatherings in public places as well as maintain or restore public order when these gatherings are likely to severely disrupt public order.

The drones can also be used for the prevention of terrorist acts, the regulation of transport flows, border surveillance, and rescuing people, the decree said.

The decree details and implements in practice a security law voted by parliament last year.

France’s CNIL data privacy watchdog had in March demanded that a detailed policy of use be published, including on the information of the public concerned by the use of drones.


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