Madrid Police To Monitor Lockdown Areas With New Drone Force

Madrid City Council has announced that the municipal police will be deploying drones in order to enforce the local lockdowns that came came into force today, 25th January.

Madrid´s mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, made the announcement yesterday at the Headquarters of the force where he detailed the enforcement measures for the lockdowns in the 16 affected areas.

The measures are in force for 14 days and will be enforced by a special team made up of 218 officers, as well as each municipal districts main police units (UID) all of which will be able to launch drones to help ” control compliance with mobility restrictions in the basic health areas with the highest incidents.”

The 15 strong police drone force cost 2.7 million Euros and is equiped with 4K cameras which have zoom ability to read number plates up to 300 metres away as well as night thermal imaging sensors to detect body temperatures.

They are also equipped with megaphone loudspeakers whose messages can be heard clearly at a distance of up to 400 meters. 

The Mayor said the new drone force would allow the police force to deploy ” cutting edge technological means, to allow monitoring of the perimeter of basic health areas from the air.” 

Almeida, accompanied by the regional Security and Emergencies Minister, Inmaculada Sanz, gave his approval for the drone deployment after a meeting with the general director of the Municipal Police, Pablo Enrique Rodríguez, and the Madrid police general commissioner, Teodoro Pérez to agree a coordinated security and compliance strategy.

The mayor has appealed to residents to excersise civil responsibility comply with the restrictions established by the health authorities. “We have to be aware of the situation we are facing from a sanitary and epidemiological point of view, we are already overcoming the contagions of the second wave and in the end everything depends on our taking responsibility as the situation is  particularly serious ”, he warned. 

The affected zones have covid-19 infection rates of over 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants and face permitre closure for all residents unless for a prescribed activity such as going to work, school or essential visits.

In addition the force will help ensure compliance of the general lockdown measures now in force throughout the region including for the curfew start at 10pm and for all commercial and leisure establishments to be closed by 9pm..

With the addition of the newly annouced restrictions in the 9 basic health areas (ZBS) and 6 localities, there are now 56 basic areas and 25 municipalities in local lockdown affecting some 1.6 million people which represents  24% of the Madrid region´s population.

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