Concern Raised Over UK Use of Drones

A report has said the use of drones in the UK will rise over the next 20 years, raising significant "safety, security and privacy concerns".

The information taken from the University of Birmingham Policy Commission Report, raised the prospect that the aircraft could be used by terrorist groups to attack public events.

The commission called for "urgent" measures to safeguard British airspace and the privacy of citizens, and to cope with civil and commercial drone use.

The research was led by Sir David Omand, former head of the UK's intelligence survey, GCHQ.

The report stated: "The security threat posed by individuals misusing RPA is a serious one, whether for criminal or terrorist purposes... more thought needs to be given to their employment for malign purposes in the domestic environment.

"Vulnerable targets might be hardened to withstand attack from outside, but it is entirely possible that in a public space like a shopping centre or sporting stadium, an attack could be launched from within.

"Crowds at sporting events or rallies could be vulnerable in a similar way if a future terrorist group were to look for means of dispersing chemical or biological agents.

"While such a scenario has so far not posed a real danger to UK citizens... it is a threat that the UK authorities took seriously during the 2012 Olympics."

Police in Merseyside, Staffordshire, Essex, Whiltshire and the West Midlands have acquired guidelines for the use of drones for surveillance.

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