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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Drone Technology: A New Frontier in Security Patrolling


We have always sought to extend our vision, to see beyond the immediately visible, to ascertain safety from the perches of our ancient towers and modern skyscrapers. And now, as if heeding some age-old call, we have taken to the skies once again—not with wings of flesh and bone, but with drones, forging ahead into the uncharted territories of security patrolling.

We remember the timeless essence of security—the deep-rooted instinct to protect, to preempt danger, and to ensure the sanctity of our personal and shared spaces. But how do we navigate this in an age where technology has equipped us with eyes in the sky?

As the terrain of threat changes, so must our vantage point. Drones offer us this new vantage point, a bird’s eye view that was once the preserve of the privileged few.

But with this new perspective comes new responsibility and effective security measures, which have highlighted the need for thoroughness and consistency. Drones, with their ability to continuously monitor vast expanses, resonate with this principle. They are tireless, unblinking, and ever-vigilant.

In my journey, training a myriad of security personnel, I have emphasized the delicate balance of technology and human intuition. Drones, in their sleek efficiency, provide the former. They can hover silently, capturing footage that reveals patterns, anomalies, and potential breaches. They can be our silent sentinels, hovering above our compounds, estates, and events. But they are not infallible.

Drones might capture footage, but it takes a trained human eye to interpret that footage and glean from it the subtle undertones of a potential threat or mischief. The drone is but an extension of our vision, and it requires the wisdom of our experience to give that vision meaning.

In the exploration of security dynamics, it was indicated that true security does not lie in mere observation but in understanding. A drone might observe an individual loitering near an establishment, but it is the trained security professional, perhaps one I've had the honour to guide, who understands the context and the potential implications.

As we embrace this airborne technological marvel, the musings on governance and regulation ring especially pertinent. The ethics of drone surveillance is a terrain we must navigate with caution. At what point does vigilant protection infringe upon personal freedoms? The skies, once a symbol of boundless freedom, could become, if we are not careful, an omnipresent eye that curtails that very freedom. You need a permit to land or use any kind of aircraft (including drones) in some parks or reserves in the Northern Territory (NT). The type of permit you need depends on if your activity is recreational or commercial. Recreational activities need an aircraft permit. This permit will allow you to fly in approved parks for 12 months. You can find out more about where you can fly below.

Commercial activities, including professional filming and photography, need a commerce and trade permit. $20 million in legal liability is a minimum requirement for a permit.

Drone technology, with all its potential, also beckons us to delve deep into our own understanding of privacy, responsibility, and restraint. Just because we can monitor, should we? Just because the skies are now accessible, should they be constantly patrolled?

There’s an inherent trust dynamic in security. Trust between those who protect and those who are protected. As we soar into this new frontier of drone patrolling, it becomes imperative to ensure that this trust is not eroded. Transparency in drone operations, clarity in their objectives, and respect for the privacy of individuals are all paramount.

In my several decades of experience and interaction with both seasoned and budding security professionals, one truth remains consistent: the tools of security, be they locks, cameras, or drones, are only as effective as the principles that guide their use. As we stand on the cusp of this drone-driven transformation in security patrolling, it is these principles that must guide us.

Drones, in all their technological splendor, offer a promise – a promise of enhanced security, of a broader vision, of a new dimension in protection. Yet, they also pose questions that challenge our ethics, our discretion, and our understanding of freedom.

As we embark upon this aerial odyssey, let us remember the age-old adages of our security predecessors. Let us wield this new tool with wisdom, guided not just by the cold precision of technology but by the warm, fallible, and ever-evolving human spirit. For in that balance, in that synergy, lies the true promise of a safer tomorrow. From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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