CHARLES KONG SOO
With crime increasing rapidly in T&T, citizens have had to adopt additional security measures such as alarm systems, surveillance cameras, access control, guard dogs and neighbourhood watch programmes.
The RealSpring Neighbourhood Association (RNA) in Valsayn, have implemented the use of new technologies in an effort to boost the effectiveness of combating crime in their area. Residents now have electronic eyes watching from above in the neighbourhood.
Aaron Gilbert, one of the street captains of RNA, has introduced the use of a high-end Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone to offer the ability to take high quality 20 megapixel aerial photographs of subjects of interest. This may be an unprecedented use of a drone for crime surveillance by a neighbourhood watch group in the country.
Some of the drone’s capabilities include capture stunning 4K video surveillance footage with optional night vision sensory, the ability to track a target for up to four kilometres or 3.10686 miles, the ability to respond to a distress call within ten minutes of receiving location.
Gilbert’s UAV is registered with the T&T Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) and follows its guidelines whenever flying anywhere within the country.
He uses this state of the art equipment to monitor the neighbourhood for any unusual/suspicious activity and alerts residents via the association’s group chat.
“Yes RNA, there is an angel looking out for you,” Gilbert said.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been around since the 1900s with advancements within the last few decades, all resulting in the ease of mobility and capability of these craft.
The association is proud to be the pioneers of the introduction of this innovative community monitoring and response solution.
Real Spring resident Dr Varma Deyalsingh said “The RNA is the first neighbourhood association which has an ‘eye in the sky’ for aerial security like former prime minister Patrick Manning’s blimp.
“If a neighbour reports a suspicious event, Gilbert can track from the safety of the sky, the drone can follow a bandit, take pictures of car numbers and record a crime if happening.
“We had a meeting on January 21 discussing issues such as flooding and security. If this catches on it is a safe way in our efforts against crime, as a drone is a silent way to monitor from a distance.”
He said Gilbert also offered this service free of charge to the association, as the area was a small community of 170 houses.