Swedish Police to Use Drones to Watch No-Go Areas Around the Clock

Swedish police in Linköping will deploy drones equipped with cameras around the clock to monitor crime in the city’s so-called no-go areas.

The police say they will be deploying the drones in the neighbourhoods of Ryd and Skäggetorp between October 19th and January 18th to watch for potential drug trafficking.

Ann-Christine Rehnström, the Local Police Area Manager of Linköping, told broadcaster SVT: “Camera surveillance is a complement to the work we are already doing in Skäggetorp and Ryd.”

“We already have our eyes out there in the form of fixed camera surveillance, body-worn cameras, and we now also have drones that we can use and get an overview of the area,” Rehnström said.

“We have trained drone pilots in the local area of Linköping who can use this technical complement to our operations,” she added.

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Both areas have been on the Swedish police’s list of so-called “vulnerable areas”, commonly referred to as no-go areas, in the past.

Last year, Linköping’s local government tried to have the list blocked from the public eye, as Skäggetorp was listed among the 23 areas in Sweden deemed “particularly vulnerable”.

Police define the particularly vulnerable areas as “characterised by social problems and a criminal presence which led to a widespread reluctance to participate in the legal process and difficulties for the police to fulfil their mission. The situation is considered acute.”

The city is not the first in Sweden to use the tactic of deploying drones in no-go areas. In December 2019, the multicultural southern city of Malmö deployed drones as part of the nationwide anti-gang police operation known as Operation Rimfrost.

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Earlier this year, despite Operation Rimfrost and the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, it was reported that gangland shootings in Sweden had actually increased compared to the year before.