Dubai Police to take an aerial view on fighting crime with a surveillance blimp


It’s all part of a plan to reduce the number of policemen and strengthen community ties

Dubai has no shortage of forward-thinking ways to help keep the streets safe. From the world’s first Robocop to an honest-to-goodness hoverbike, it’s safe to say that the city’s police force is one of the most advanced in the world.

Their latest venture, however, looks to do away with actual policemen entirely by using a combination CCTV cameras, rapid response teams and yes, even an airborne surveillance blimp.

These proposed high tech initiatives are part of Dubai’s 10X strategy, specifically designed to put the city a full decade ahead of the rest of the world in terms of innovation.

How would it work? The idea is that the surveillance blimp would float above the city keeping an eye on things and acting as an early warning system. It would be used in concert with CCTV cameras affixed to buildings and fences across the Emirate, essentially “crowdsourcing” video feeds on the lookout for suspicious activity. Finally, a mobile response team, described as a “station on patrol”, could rapidly react to events without the need for traditional police stations.

It’s pretty futuristic stuff and gives us a real Minority Report meets the Goodyear blimp vibe. If they manage to pull it off, however, it could be a real disruption to conventional policing methods, with one official telling The National that it could strengthen ties with the community while increasing the force’s operational efficiency.

Sounds like a win-win to us.

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Image: Google