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