Domestic surveillance using drones seems to be about to skyrocket. The UK already has millions of surveillance cameras, so it bears thinking about what drones add to the mix. Some speculation:
1. Resolution. Many surveillance cameras have relatively low resolution. Drone cameras can have very high resolution. It would be expensive to convert all surveillance cameras to higher resolution, but with drones that high resolution capability can be moved around where most useful.
2. Covert capability. While cameras can be covert, most public ones are not. Drones can be covert when required, or can be made obvious, for purposes of intimidation.
3. Drones can cover areas where cameras aren’t practical, such as rural areas. Drones can’t easily be blocked or disabled.
4. Drones can move with the target. Drones can photograph at angles. Some drones can move inside space.
5. The toy factor. Drones are gadgets, and make the life of the users more interesting.
For most applications, there isn’t a need for drones to be large. Therefore they can be cheap and easy to operate. In a ‘stakeout’ for example, one operator might monitor more than one drones, even at the same site.
Drones can operate in the dark, and produce images in infrared for night vision.