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Czech police to have drone unit, government decided

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Prague, May 3 (CTK) – The Czech police will have a new unit whose members will use drones based on a plan of the Interior Ministry which the government approved on Wednesday and which provides for building drone bases in Prague, Brno, Ceske Budejovice, south Bohemia, and Ostrava, north Moravia, within two years.

The police also plan to improve protection against drones, particularly of the presidential seats at Prague Castle and in the Lany chateau.

The overall costs are estimated at 160 million crowns.

The drones could be mainly used in search for missing persons in a difficult terrain, aerial photographing, monitoring the situation when security measures are in force, documentation of fires, industrial and natural disasters, pyrotechnical surveying and state border protection.

The police will use drones based on a prepared agreement between them, the Interior Ministry, the Transport Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority.

The police now have 12 drones in the category of commonly available devices. They are mainly used by police in regions.

The new unit will fall under the air service and it will have 28 members. The police would like to admit the first ten of them this year. It takes two persons to operate the drone. The first base is to be ready in Prague next year at the latest, the others in the latter half of 2019.

The government material also points to possible risks involved in the growing popularity of drones with people.

The drones can carry explosives or take photographs in preparation of a crime or terrorist attack, but the police do not have as yet a special device to recognise an unmanned plane and render it harmless.

That is why they want to participate in testing and developing a system that would make it possible to control suspicious drones.

For the time being, the police want to buy devices that are now available and install them on certain buildings and in two special vehicles.

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