Exclusive: Makassar plans to use drones to catch criminals

Mayor of Makassar outlines vision for public safety next year.

Makassar City will use drones from next year to catch criminals, Mayor Danny Pomanto has told GovInsider. “We have 20 drones now,” he said. The drones fitted with cameras will be used to track criminals on the run while the police make their way to arrest them. The city plans to use facial recognition analysis from its CCTV feeds to identify criminals on the street, he added. “After we do the identification, then we will make the drone follow the person”, he said. The drones can currently fly for up to 1 hour. Makassar has already collected biometric data from all its citizens, including facial, finger and iris scans, Mayor Pomanto said. “For all the residents - 1.8 million people - we have the data,” he said. Public safety will be one of his top priorities next year, he said. The city also plans to install infrared cameras at “specific streets and corridors” to detect people carrying weapons, like knives. The thermal imaging technology will mainly be used to catch motorcyclists, he said, as it would not be able to see inside cars. “Now 80% of crime is from motorcyclists”, the Mayor added. The location of infrared cameras will be determined based on “data of crimes, accidents and traffic jams”, he said. Emergency facilities will be housed in six “care and rescue centres” across the city. The centres will have “quick response police”, municipal police, medical staff and drones, he said. “Now we have built two care and rescue centres. Next year we will build four more,” he added. Image by Ikhvan - CC BY 2.0