In many countries, the use of drones by police is considered for special operations, and are therefore rarely deployed. In Finland, drones are already everyday devices that in the future are likely to be a regular part of every police officer’s toolkit.
So far, over 400 police officers have been trained to operate drones and more than 200 of the aerial vehicles are in official use.
Superintendent Sami Hätönen of Finland’s Police University College calls the introduction of drones “the start of a success story” and described the results they have already achieved as “encouraging”.
Hätönen was with the National Police Board in 2015 when he was asked to examine the use of drones in police work. As a photography enthusiast, he was keen to explore the technology.
At that time, police in Finland had only a few drones in use.
“I’m the worst sort of turncoat. I’m told that I once said publicly that this was something that the police shouldn’t get involved with,” Hätönen laughs.