Council uses drone to check residents are obeying social distancing rules

A council has used a drone to see if residents are observing social distancing along a boardwalk.

Portsmouth City Council used the unmanned device to take pictures along the Southsea coast and identify problem areas.

Liberal Democrats’ chairman Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the pictures showed people largely obeying the two-meter distancing rules, but there were “pinch points” near cafes and the entrance to the pier.

He said the council had plans to remove some benches in these areas, as well as sidewalk billboards, to make more space and to keep people from sitting next to the cafes.

Mr. Vernon-Jackson said, “We wanted to take a look at the coast because a lot of people say there were too many people on the coast.

“It showed that people were behaving very sensibly and very well, but there were some pinch points that groups of people were at and we had to work on a strategy so that those pinch points weren’t dangerous, so that people didn’t hit the boardwalk can continue to use it to get her exercise down the line. “

He added, “When you are at the prom it looks a lot fuller than when you look up from above where you can see the distances and people keep the two meters apart.”

He said the drones did not invade public privacy because “we can’t identify people, we can’t see anyone up close just to get an idea of ​​how safe or unsafe it is for people”.

Mr. Vernon-Jackson said that only a “pair” of benches next to cafes would be removed to allow compliance with rules prohibiting people from sitting outside of cafes, adding that “thousands” of other benches would continue to be used .


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