The Andhra Pradesh police in the temple town of Tirupati have started using drones to crack down on people consuming liquor in open places.

More than 100 people have already been booked under nuisance cases for openly drinking alcohol in a month and a half.

Tirupati urban superintendent of police (SP) Venkata Appala Naidu said the police department needs “an eye in the sky” to discover these activities as police cannot always go everywhere.

“We started tracking (using drones) due to some factors like augmenting the police force. It is a force multiplier. We have a shortage of force and we need to cover lot of areas,” Naidu told IANS on Saturday.

He said the drones come in handy to reach out to inaccessible areas, including acting as a deterrent.

On spotting open alcohol consumption, the SP said the compact unmanned aerial vehicles can trigger an alarm for police to swoop in on the violators.

“It (drone) will ensure an element of surprise and also make things easy for the police. This kind of surveillance will save time,” said the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.

According to Naidu, shortage of force also has been a compelling reason for them to go for technological aids such as drones.

Using three drones, one at a time, he said police should practice these modern methods to put them to use when needed during critical times.

The SP said everyday police are apprehending about 20 to 30 people for openly consuming alcohol, using general surveillance and drone surveillance.

From three drone operators in Tirupati, Naidu is planning to raise their number in the urban district’s police department.

–IANS

sth/pgh

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