UK Police successfully used tactical drones in order to identify and ultimately disperse an illegal rave taking place in the fields of Steyning, Sussex.
As the UK remains under COVID-19 restrictions, law enforcement has remained tasked with breaking up mass gatherings of over 30 people. While the nation was originally set to loosen its regulations and reopen nightlife venues, the threat of a spreading Delta variant has prolonged the restrictive measures.
It appears law enforcement has begun to evolve their tactics, as their most recent bust of a 2,000-person rave was assisted with drone technology. The aircraft honed in on the gathering from afar due to all the nearby cars crowding the narrow street. The remote footage allowed officers to effectively seal off exits before making a move to raid and disperse the crowd.
According to DroneDJ, the resulting raid led to 50 on-scene arrests, and organizers were fined nearly $14K. Attendees were not exactly subtle about their activity at the time, as many photos and videos rapidly began to surface on social media.
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Raves continue to be frequently busted by police throughout the UK and Europe as event restrictions persist, often leading to hostile clashes between police and attendees in the process.
Notably, one recent conflict at a rave in France led to four hospitalizations and one man with a severed hand. Perhaps the proliferation of remote technology, including drones, will lead to greater efficiencies in maintaining public safety and minimize the potential for future conflict.