British police are using drones made by Chinese firm accused of ‘supplying machines to guide Russian missiles’
- Chinese firm DJI Technology has provides drones to police forces across Britain
- Was sanctioned by US over human rights abuses and deemed a security threat
- Ukraine’s Vice PM called for DJI to switch off devices being used by Russian military to guide missiles
- The Mail on Sunday has uncovered that police are still using the drones
Police forces are using drones made by a Chinese firm accused of supplying the machines to guide Russian missiles, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
DJI Technology, also known as Shenzen DJI Science and Technologies, provides drones to police forces across Britain.
The firm, which has been sanctioned in the US over human rights abuses and assessed as a national security threat, has been accused of supplying drones to Russia to guide missiles at Ukrainian targets including civilians.
Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov wrote a letter to DJI calling for the company to use its capability to switch off devices being used in Ukraine by the Russian military.
Police forces are using drones made by a Chinese firm accused of supplying the machines to guide Russian missiles
DJI Technology, which provides drones to police forces across Britain, has been sanctioned in the US over human rights abuses and assessed as a national security threat
Now The Mail on Sunday has uncovered that police are still using the drones despite the US Treasury stating in December that DJI, first sanctioned in 2020, was complicit in human rights abuses because it ‘has provided drones to the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, which are used to surveil Uyghurs in Xinjiang’.
Separately, the US Department of Defense has deemed the firm’s drones a national security threat, citing fears that China could access data collected by the devices.
They are used for frontline policing, including monitoring major public events, protests, roads policing and pursuing suspects.
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, of the China Research Group, said: ‘First DJI drones callously allows its technology to aid and abet the genocide of the Uyghur people in China, now it has blood in its hands once again as its drones are killing innocent Ukrainians.
‘Be in no doubt that DJI fully endorses the Russian invasion and slaughter of innocents: this week it refused to deactivate or divert drones murdering our Ukrainian friends.
‘We urgently need to get a grip on biometric surveillance technologies in this country, and I expect the police to launch an immediate review of surveillance procurement policies to rip out those complicit in slavery and human rights abuses.’
Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov wrote a letter to DJI calling for the company to use its capability to switch off devices being used in Ukraine by the Russian military
Fraser Sampson, the Government’s independent Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner for England and Wales, expressed concern, adding that forces must take into account ‘human rights and security considerations’ when ‘choosing surveillance partners.’
Forces using DJI drones include the Metropolitan Police, Nottinghamshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Police Scotland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, West Midlands and West Yorkshire, among others.
In 2020 Derbyshire Police sparked controversy after it tasked drones to monitor dog walkers in the Peak District during the first covid-19 lockdown.
A survey last year for UK Drone Watch found 60 per cent of people were worried about the effects of drone use on privacy and civil liberties.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) said: ‘While procurement remains a matter for each Chief Constable, the security of the drones has been looked at by the service and it is, of course, very important to us.
‘We continue to evolve our approach to operational drone use and will always consider security as part of any deployment.
‘This is an ongoing process, involving law enforcement and intelligence partners, including the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.
‘Police take all possible steps to protect and keep secure the data obtained by using drones.’
A DJI spokeswoman said it was not possible to simply switch off products bought by the Russian military ‘as all of these products can be operated without internet connection’ and that it ‘deplore[s] any use of our products that might cause people harm.’
Source: Read Full Article