Value of tethered drones as safety reinforcement during large gatherings
The Public Safety and Prevention Directorate of Evreux – a French city 65 miles from Paris – uses the Flying Guard tethered drone to strengthen safety during large events such as festivals, National holiday, FIFA world cup… The municipality and safety forces are convinced by the advantages of this new drone system, especially for better disorders identification, security response and drug trafficking.
“Police’s eyes extension” to strengthen safety of both public and security forces
M. Guy Lefrand, mayor of Evreux, wanted to equip municipal forces in order to help them in their work. Thus, in 2017, the municipality bought 2 drones from Azur Drones and trained 2 officers from the Public Safety and Prevention 24/7 service. “Those devices allow to perform quick situational assessments. They are the Police’s eyes extension”, explains Stéphane Morelli, Azur Drones’ CEO. The use of drones, “it is above all to protect the staff on particular interventions” adds Nicolas Gavard-Gongallud, deputy mayor responsible for Safety.
In June 2018, after this first conclusive experimentations, the municipality bought a more efficient system: The Flying Guard. It is a tethered drone supplied by a power unit – The Power Riser – for unlimited flights up to 100 m height. Equipped with high-performance imagery sensor, it ensures video surveillance over large areas (thousands of hectares).
Example of Rock-In-Evreux festival
The Flying Guard system has been tested for the first time at Rock-in-Evreux festival which brought together around 31,000 music lovers at the end of June.
In cooperation with the Police, the tethered drone has allowed numerous arrests and hard drug seizures. It has also helped to circumscribe fights by leading security forces to the place of the incident and catching assailants trying to flee. Free-riders has also been apprehended more than 2 km away from the gates after having tried to force into the festival.
Since then, the tethered system has been deployed during July 13th fireworks and during the FIFA World Cup finale. On July 15th, the municipality organized a “fan zone” protected by the Flying Guard in relation with a SWAT team, henceforth convinced by the solution.
Conclusive trials for the municipality and safety forces
“I was not a drone aficionado. It is only when I saw the drone images and the use by my teams that I was convinced. The drone, and especially when tethered, obviously improves the vision we can have of large gatherings, and indirectly helps deter degradations or drug consumption” explains Nicolas Gavard-Gongallud.
The deployment of drones respects a strict legal framework: “All the operations are conducted in relation with different administrations, including the Prefecture and the French Directorate-General for Civil Aviation (DGAC), in order to obtain flight authorizations. Flights security is the numer-one goal,” reminds Ludovic Demée, director of Public Safety and Prevention service of Evreux. “We are willing to keep all the huge events which gather a crowd in Evreux, but safely thanks to drone” Nicolas Gavard-Gongallud.