The Greater Chennai Police on Thursday launched the 'Police Drone Unit', touted as the first such in the country, for aerial surveillance over the Tamil Nadu capital.

The unit, which has a total of nine drones under three categories -- Quick Response Surveillance drones, heavy-lift multi-rotor drones, and Long Range Survey wing plane -- and 20 trained police personnel, was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, C. Sylendra Babu.

These drones are equipped with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) facilities and can be operated upto 10km from the ground station.


Chennai City's Police Commissioner, Shankar Jaiswal, briefing media persons, said that drones have thermal object imaging facility and will detect if any suspect has a knife or some other objects on his body.

He said that night patrolling will become much easier and based on information provided by drones, the suspects could be caught easily. He also said that drones will be used to monitor movements at isolated places as well as uniting of anti-social elements.

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The Commissioner also said that drones could be used to read the number plates of vehicles.

Sylendra Babu told media persons that deploying drone unit was an important milestone for the Tamil Nadu Police and added that the unit was established at a cost of Rs 3.6 crore.

(With inputs from IANS)