By Bernie Bell
Yesterday evening, ‘The One Show’ featured an item about drones. It’s probably still available to view on iPlayer. A group of young men, have developed a gizmo which can ‘catch‘ drones. A missile is fired from a thing which looks like a bazooka, this flies up into the air, then opens up to release a net, which catches the drone and brings it down. This is only licensed for use by the military, or the police.
Meanwhile, anyone can buy a drone, and use it in whatever way they wish.
The guest on The One Show, was David Jason ( of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ fame), who told a slightly chilling story. About a week ago, he was walking in his garden, when he heard a buzzing noise. He looked up , saw a drone, thought – “Someone’s flying a drone”, didn’t think much of it, then, he noticed that, as he walked, the drone followed him. When he stopped, it stopped, when he walked again, it followed him again. He went into his house, and the drone went away. This is just, plain creepy, and things like this, should not be happening.
As with some other inventions, such as the Internet, drones can be very useful indeed, but, often, things are invented, and are made available on the market, without enough thought being given to their use, and potential mis-use, and then, the problems start to arise.
We, the public, are not allowed to ‘attack’ a drone, as they are classified as aircraft. They are not aircraft, they are….drones. If I saw a drone over my garden, watching me, my response would be to pick up a rock, and take aim. Apparently, I would then be the one that would be in trouble, as that action, would be illegal. I would still be very tempted.
If this makes me some kind of Luddite, well, back then, I probably would have been a Luddite. The new machinery increased production, but also made the workplace much more dangerous, until legislation caught up with the situation.
I’m not against development, but development needs to be structured, not random.
So, I’d ask each person with a drone, to take full responsibility for its use, and …use it responsibly! I look to legislation catching up with development, and drone use being licensed, and restricted to ‘official‘ use, as the drone catcher is. This would need to extend to use for surveys etc., but, it does look like it needs to be quite strictly controlled and monitored, or we lose peace and privacy, and idiots can pull stunts such as the one which is happening at Gatwick as I write.