As in China and Italy, against a backdrop of science fiction! Since this Thursday afternoon, a drone has been patrolling the Alpes-Maritimes to help law enforcement officials enforce containment measures. For its first outing authorized by the prefecture, in support of the national police, the device with a loudspeaker broadcast for several hours in Nice, above the Promenade des Anglais, at the port and along the avenue Jean-Médecin, two recorded messages. Simple, basic: “All travel outside the home is prohibited except for exceptions” and “Please respect a safety distance of at least one meter between each person”.
This aerial method of hammering the lockers aims to surprise and “impact in a spectacular way”, explains Jean-Gabriel Delacroix, director of the prefect’s office. “The idea is to get attention,” he adds. With this message that comes from the sky, it surprises and avoids the trivialization of the walk of people who would see the uniforms from a distance and would simply turn around. “
The machine is piloted by a private operator from Nice Drone 06, who offered its services to the prefecture. “I was asked to put on a loudspeaker, I thought about it for a while and finally found the solution late at night,” explains the company’s CEO, Sabri Ben Hassen. The choice fell on a small model of drone weighing 800 grams for 30 centimeters in diameter. The sound power has been lowered. “It is not a question of giving the impression of an aggressive machine, he specifies, but of being in the prevention. According to him, the first reactions were positive this Thursday: “Some took a little time to understand, all played the game and left. “
A helicopter also deployed
The method is rather radical. But it arrives in a city (and a sunny French Riviera) which has known, since the beginning of confinement, some air holes with too many strollers strolling along the sea in particular. So much so that the authorities did not stop raising the tone and decided to verbalize in large numbers to calm the heat. This Thursday, a gendarmerie helicopter was even used to help disperse groups while access to the beaches of the Alpes-Maritimes was also prohibited.
The Promenade des Anglais could be the next step with a total closure envisaged if there are too many people in the hours and days to come. At the end of the day, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and the prefect Bernard Gonzalez published a new joint press release to deplore “the non-respect of health instructions”. “Things are clear, they say: if the measures were not quickly and scrupulously followed, additional constraints could be taken to ensure the security of everyone. “
In the meantime, the drone should continue its flights to other cities in the department. This Friday, it could be Cannes’s turn…
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