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Drones help city law enforcement teams

    The environment law enforcement agency in Shanghai's downtown area has started using drones to cover what is referred to as “blind zone,” officials said.

    Hongkou District environment law enforcement team used drones for the first time last month to collect evidence after receiving tip-offs from residents about a restaurant allegedly discharging waste gas.

    “The vent of the restaurant was located on the roof of a building, which is a blind zone,” Tang Xun, head of Hongkou District environment law enforcement team, told Shanghai Daily yesterday. “It would be too difficult for our staff to climb that high and collect evidence, so we decided to use a drone.”

    With the help of the drone, environment team staff shot videos and took pictures around the restaurant vent on Bao’an Road on December 7, which helped in ensuing investigation.

    “Apart from reaching blind zones, a drone can also help when our staff encounters any challenge preventing them reaching the scene during evidence collection process,” said Tang. However, drones are not frequently used in downtown area due to safety concerns. Therefore, it involves a strict and lengthy approval procedure between departments.