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Government proposes new powers for police to intervene in use of drones in certain cases

Ministry of the Interior 21.2.2019 14.21
Press release 12/2019
Government proposes new powers for police to intervene in use of drones in certain cases

The police will be given greater powers to intervene in the use of unmanned aircraft, or drones. On 21 February, the Government proposed that the Police Act be amended. The President of the Republic is to approve the amendments on 22 February.

In future, the police may intervene in the use of drones when this is necessary for purposes such as maintaining public order and security. New powers are also necessary for preventing offences and safeguarding significant state events.

The police may, if necessary, intervene in the use of drones by using force or such technical equipment that helps to disturb the connection between the drone and its remote control system or to take over control of the drone remotely. The police may, for example, forbid the use of drones at the scene of an accident to prevent drones equipped with cameras being used to take photos or videos of victims of the accident and/or to prevent the disturbance of the work of the authorities.

Unmanned aircraft systems have become very popular, and this has created new kinds of security threats. Drones can be used for preparing or committing offences, such as covert filming or photography or industrial espionage. Furthermore, inexperienced or reckless drone users may pose a risk to their environment.

The legislative amendments will come into force on 18 March 2019

Inquiries:
Marja-Leena Härkönen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 297, marja-leena.harkonen@intermin.fi