Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

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Rosenberg
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Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Rosenberg » Tue May 20, 2014 1:41 pm

Does anyone know if there are laws preventing a neighbour from spying on on us in our garden with a remote controlled quadcopter / camera?

We have had a long history of problems with this person (trespass, abuse, reporting my kids to the council for playing in the road, leylandiis pushing my fence over, theft of my land etc.) and this is just another example of his sneaky attempts at intimidation.

My wife likes to sunbathe in the garden, but a few years back we saw the neighbour in his upstairs window looking at her through a pair of binoculars. Since then we have put up a large trellis with climbers to give us some privacy. But now that he has no direct line of sight from his window he has bought one of these flying cameras to get his thrills. I assume he can operate the remote control with just one hand.

Police are not interested. Apparently it is not a trespass to overfly someone's garden. They say that if it was a trespass, planes, helicopters etc. would be breaking the law - and anyway trespass is not a criminal offence. I have photographed the quadcopter hovering over us, but apparently it is not proof that my neighbour is operating it. The fact that it takes off and lands in his garden seems to count for nothing.

Note to some of the "regulars" here: please don't repeat the advice that you gave me a couple of years ago. Appeasement and ignoring the neighbour doesn't work. Direct action does.

Geometer
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Geometer » Tue May 20, 2014 3:30 pm

You might find this helpful:
http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid ... geid=11185
Article 166 of the ANO 2009 includes specific regulations for small unmanned aircraft and Article 167 of the ANO 2009 includes additional regulations for small unmanned aircraft that are 'equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition'. In summary, they prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying in congested areas, flying close to people or property, flying for aerial work purposes or flying beyond visual line of sight unless permission has been given by the CAA.

Rosenberg
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Rosenberg » Tue May 20, 2014 4:07 pm

Thanks for that Geometer. I have read the CAA Web page about complaints and it seems as though it would be difficult to get the evidence required:
Complaints of low flying and allegations of breaches of Air Navigation legislation.

In any instance where it is felt that an aircraft has breached Air Navigation legislation, the CAA may be able to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute. However, before the matter can be pursued throught the courts there would be a requirement  placed upon the CAA to provide a high level of positive evidence, particularly identification of the aircraft and details of supporting witnesses.
Unfortunately, It is impossible to prove that it is my neighbour is controlling the device. The only witnesses I know of are me and my wife. I have asked other neighbours, but they did not witness any of the occasions when it flew over.

I was wondering whether anyone knows of a way of disabling the remote control electronically - I understand they use a form of long range WiFi. Or is it legal to shoot down things in your own airspace. (I'm thinking here of using a hose or a catapult.)

Something needs to be done otherwise the pervert will be posting videos of my wife on YouTube. It is bad enough to think he might just be keeping them in his own "private collection", but on the internet as well, that's just not on.

Hugh Jaleak
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Hugh Jaleak » Tue May 20, 2014 8:31 pm

Shoot the thing down, neighbour has to prove you did it. You simply smile sweetly and deny all knowledge. Or get something similar yourself, launch it and accidentally on purpose crash into the other and bring them both down. Teething problems, you were learning how to fly it..... :lol:

MacadamB53
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue May 20, 2014 8:56 pm

Hi Rosenberg,

how high up is he keeping it?

if it's lower than a telegraph pole then I'd say it is a trespass (contrary to what plod says, you can trespass airspace) and I'd consider catching it eg. in a net to avoid any damages claim - it must be worth a few bob?
have you caught it on film?

Kind regards, Mac

Geometer
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Geometer » Tue May 20, 2014 8:58 pm

Rosenberg wrote:Thanks for that Geometer. I have read the CAA Web page about complaints and it seems as though it would be difficult to get the evidence required
Maybe so, but it might be worth reporting it to them anyway, let them advise what sort of evidence they need and how to get it.

Are you sure this copter thing is carrying a camera and definitely filming you in your garden? Wouldn't this be covered by the same laws that cover CCTV cameras filming neighbouring properties?

Geometer
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Geometer » Tue May 20, 2014 9:00 pm

Hugh Jaleak wrote:Shoot the thing down, neighbour has to prove you did it.
Easy to prove if it films you doing it :oops:

cobdale
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by cobdale » Tue May 20, 2014 10:06 pm

what about if you started sunbathing ? would that put him off?

MacadamB53
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue May 20, 2014 10:14 pm

Hi Geometer,

Wouldn't this be covered by the same laws that cover CCTV cameras filming neighbouring properties?

what laws are they?

Kind regards, Mac

COGGY
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by COGGY » Tue May 20, 2014 10:40 pm

Hi

Our neighbour used to regularly walk along the road past our house and take photos of us sitting in our garden. She also took photos of us through her window. We were told by the police that this was legally permitted. When she leant into our garden with a child's fishing net trying to capture our CCTV camera we were told that "We could not know if she intended to keep it".

If this thing hovers you could get a very strong water pistol loaded with something obnoxious and shoot at it. It will not be able to take photos if the lense is covered in liquid. See how the police deal with the complaint then. After all you are permitted to water your garden. :)

Kind regards
Coggy

Scrambler
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Scrambler » Wed May 21, 2014 7:24 am

Ground to air missile would seem to be the way forward......have you any friends you could borrow an air rifle from, ? used from your bedroom window I don't see how he could film you

celestina
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by celestina » Wed May 21, 2014 2:52 pm

What a strange thing to do - as others have suggested - catch it with a net or shoot it down with water (as Coggy says, you were watering your garden) - if it does contain a camera then there should be some kind of SD card - if he is spying on you then the evidence will probably be there then you will have something to copy and hand over to the police.

appledore
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by appledore » Wed May 21, 2014 5:05 pm

Soapy water would probably cover the lense. Failing that you need a sniper. :)
Keep calm and carry on.

Rosenberg
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by Rosenberg » Thu May 22, 2014 11:26 am

Thanks for all your suggestions.

Celestina, I wouldn't call it strange, I would call it perverted.

Unfortunately, I don't think the camera stores the video on board with an SD card. Most devices I have read about stream the video back to the base station via an enhanced WiFi type signal.

So if I did shoot it down with a hose etc., he would probably still have the images of me doing it. Mind you he would have to explain to the police why, a few seconds before, the video also contains images of my naked wife.

How do you think plod would respond to that?

MacadamB53
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Re: Neighbour's quadcopter camera over my garden

Post by MacadamB53 » Thu May 22, 2014 11:35 am

Hi Rosenberg,

how high up is he keeping it?

Kind regards, Mac
PS is this for real?

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