Latvia has a burgeoning community of drone enthusiasts with around 6,000 registered pilots, an increase of more than 60% since 2021, but many more are unlicensed. The Civil Aviation Agency, which regulates the use of drones in the country in line with wider European rules, says around only half of the pilots registered have a qualification in flying an unmanned aircraft.

Under the country’s laws, it is illegal to fly a drone over a military installation and drones must fly at least 8kms away from the airports, 3 kms from heliports and they must be a least 1km away from residential areas. There are also restrictions on how high a drone may fly.

The State Police of Latvia wanted to find a security partner and a drone detection solution that would help it balance the freedom of the public to enjoy flying unmanned aerial vehicles while protecting the public at busy events such as festivals, concerts and other gatherings. Dedrone’s command and control drone detection, tracking and identification product suite was put in place and G4S will provide training for officers using the technology, as well as monitoring and analysis. The technology provides continuous, autonomous interrogation and verification of drones, allowing users to detect, track, identify, analyze and mitigate threats posed by drones.

G4S will provide the State Police in Latvia with six mobile drone detection systems across Riga to track how many devices are flying across the capital city and monitor activity close to key buildings used by the police, councils and government. The devices make it possible to determine the height, route and location of a drone’s remote pilot, which is essential for detecting any potential law breaking.

The equipment will be used to ensure public safety, including during public events, in order to prevent violations, including those that may threaten the safety of the public. The systems will also be used to monitor and analyze the threat drones pose across Riga. State and municipal organizations will be able to use this service to protect facilities and other sensitive buildings or areas on a subscription basis.