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Bahn 'drone' helicopter to hunt graffiti vandals

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Photo: DPA
11:48 CEST+02:00
The writing is clearly on the wall for illegal graffiti artists, as Deutsche Bahn (DB) plans to deploy unmanned mini-helicopter drones to film, track and hunt them down, it emerged on Sunday.

DB are hoping their new Bond-like miniature helicopters – red all over, with the DB logo - will be able to detect and film spray-painters and vandals in the act, wrote Bild am Sonntag.

The machines, which like a military drone are fitted with heat-sensitive cameras, are due to be tested over the next weeks – for now only on DB property and airspace.

If suspicious movement is detected, the operator on the ground alerts a pilot also at ground level, who can then chase down the culprits using a remote control which works up to 40 kilometres away.

The whole thing – including a log of GPS data - will be filmed so that the culprits can be later brought to justice in court, wrote the paper.

At €60,000 each, the battery-operated helicopters can fly silently for over 80 minutes at 54 km/h at a height of 150 metres, said Bild am Sonntag.

“We have to find new ways of fighting graffiti,” Gerd Neubeck, head of security at Deutsche Bahn told the paper.

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In the past year alone, the rail company has recorded 14,000 separate spray-painting incidents at a total damage of €7.6 million.

The Local/jlb

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