Elche (Alicante) pomegranate growers get help from above with police drones

POMEGRANATE PROTECTORS: Elche’s deputy mayor Ramon Abad with the Drone Unit Photo credit: Elche city hall

ELCHE’S Policía Local are once again using drones to protect this year’s pomegranate crop.

This is the second time they have kept watch from the air, police sources announced, adding that the drones’ powerful lights usually made would-be raiders think twice before stripping the trees.

Launching a drone and turning on its thermal camera showed them large areas within seconds, something they could not achieve with traditional foot patrols, officers said.

Paco Mira, in charge of the Policia Local’s Drone Unit, explained that thermal imaging allowed them to detect people or even parked cars amongst the trees, and had led to several arrests.

Officers are also controlling the thefts that plague growers each autumn with periodic visits to 62 greengrocers in the city and surrounding areas. During inspections police look for signs that pomegranates have been inexpertly wrenched from the trees or bruised after falling on the ground.

Jose Antonio Corrales, Chief Inspector of the Elche force, revealed that the greengrocers were also collaborating with the force, tipping them off about the places where pomegranates were sold at unrealistically low prices or without documentation.

This recently resulted in dismantling illegal premises in the Carrus district which opened at prearranged hours to sell robbed fruit, the Chief Inspector said.

 

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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