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Aerial surveillance: Mauritius Police moves to buy more drones

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The Mauritius Police Force wants to buy more drones for “research and development” purposes. On 31 August 2022, Police issued a Notice to invite for bids.

“Police  Department is inviting bids from eligible  bidders of Mauritian  nationals or entities incorporated in Mauritius through the Government eProcurement  System for the Supply, Testing  & Commissioning of Drones for Police Research & Development Unit,” the Notice read.

The reference Number of the procurement is:POLICE/IFB/2022/922.

The announcement has caught the attention of civil rights activists. 

“There could be objections and we are have to listen to what people have to say: who are for or against it. When police want to purchase surveillance technology such as police drones, they should be required to give more information and let experts assess the potential impacts on civil liberties.”

Outside Mauritius, drones have often been used for surveillance over protests or public/political gatherings.

Drones have the ability to record footage and have been used by the Mauritian Police since 2020.

“After the Safety cameras, do we really need more surveillance? Or do we need community solutions.”

The closing date to submit bids is in three weeks, i.e. Tuesday 27 September, 2022 up to 10.30 hours (Mauritius Time). Bids will be opened online 2 days later.

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