27 May 2013
Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK aims to contribute to the public debate on the use of drones within the UK.
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Co-published by Statewatch and Drone Wars UK, the report examines the use of drones use by both public and private bodies. The main body of the research examines the use of drones by police forces and border control authorities and argues that public discussion and debate is needed before the use of drones - in particular for surveillance purposes - becomes widespread.
Due to a lack of safety guarantees and regulatory framework the use of drones in the UK remains limited, particularly amongst public authorities, although there are moves to introduce them more widely. Use by law enforcement authorities remains limited, although evidence gathered for the report suggests that the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the predecessor to the National Crime Agency, may have acquired the use of drone technology in late 2012.
Currently it is private companies dealing with surveying, mapping, photography, filming and safety inspection that use the vast majority of drones licensed for operation within UK airspace. However, as technology develops and becomes more widely available this is likely to change, and various attempts are being made to drive this development and capitalise on what is perceived as a significant market for 'civil' drones.
The report examines, in turn: law and regulation surrounding the use of domestic drones, in particular as regards surveillance; funding from UK and EU institutions aimed at the development of drone technology and regulation; the use of drones by police forces; the use of drones for border control purposes; and the use of drones by private companies and individuals.
Co-published in 27 May 2013 by Statewatch and Drone Wars UK.
Sources and documentation
This page contains links to a selection of reports and documentation used as sources for the report Back from the battlefield: domestic drones in the UK. It lists reports and analyses produced by NGOs, official policy documents, and documents released by the police in response to Freedom of Information requests along with other official documents such as presentations. The report also references dozens of news articles, press releases and other material not reproduced here.
The full report and its annexes are available online here, or you can order hard copies.
|Reports, analysis and policy|
|Air Navigation: The Order and the Regulations||Civil Aviation Authority||January 2010|
|Autonomous Systems: Opportunities and Challenges for the UK||Aerospace, Aviation & Defence Knowledge Transfer Network||30 June 2012|
|Background note on the civil use of drones in the UK||All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones||June 2013|
|Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives||Ben Hayes and Matthias Vermeulen||June 2012|
|Briefing to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones||Sam Smith (Privacy International)||June 2013|
|Eurodrones, Inc.||Ben Hayes, Chris Jones and Eric Toepfer||February 2014|
|Freedom from Suspicion: Surveillance Reform for a Digital Age||JUSTICE||October 2011|
|Guns, Debt and Corruption: Military spending and the EU crisis||Frank Slijper||April 2013|
|Shelling Out: UK Government Spending on Unmanned Drones||Drone Wars UK||September 2012|
|Surveillance Camera Code of Practice||UK Home Office||June 2013|
|The Aerial Gaze: Regulating Domestic Drones in the UK||Lachlan Urquhart||March 2013|
|The Manufacture of "Surveillance by Consent"||No CCTV||March 2013|
|The UK Approach to Unmanned Systems||UK Ministry of Defence||March 2011|
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Systems Briefing||Big Brother Watch||June 2013|
|Unmanned Aircraft System Operation in UK Airspace - Guidance||Civil Aviation Authority||August 2011|
|Responses to FOI requests/official documents|
|Association of Chief Police Officers of England and Wales (ACPO)|
|Police forces: England|
|Police forces: Wales|
|Police forces: Scotland|
|Police forces: Northern Ireland|
|Police forces: non-geographic|
Market Forces: the development of the EU security-industrial complex
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