The Long Feet of The Law


Dubai police are testing a new device to assist them in the fight against crime, and it is one that police in the UK might make use of.  It is the police hoverbike, designed by Hoversurf.

The police hoverbike will be able to travel at speeds of up to 40mph, for up to 25 minutes and can carry as much as 300kg.  Fine, and it has been tested to cope with the heat and dust the local environment supplies in abundance.  Dubai police are being trained it its use.

Another use immediately suggests itself for the UK, however.  Could this be an effective weapon in the fight against moped crime?  Mopeds can flee down narrow passages and driveways that are inaccessible to police cars, but so can a hoverbike.  A taser-armed officer could make hot pursuit after young thugs snatching mobile phones, wallets and handbags.  Of course, a somewhat faster version would probably be needed for UK city streets, but it would have the manoeuvrability that could outmatch a moped.

It is only by keeping abreast of developing technologies that the forces of law and order can keep one step ahead of those bent on crime.  While a police drone tracks and follows the moped thugs, a police hoverbike can be directed in pursuit, and others perhaps can be sent to intercept.  Quite apart from its probable effectiveness, a hoverbiking police squad looks pretty cool, too, like something that’s strayed out of Blade Runner

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    • I like your idea of a Predator hovering around upstairs with smart image-recognition software that detects mopeding and general smashing and grabbing. Stuff the taser, it fires a toned-down Hellfire and on impact the perps get pixellated. The chief problem being to vanish the bad boys into another dimension while leaving the stolen property intact to be recovered by the owner. Hollywood might be able to help here. My fave TV show of all time was Airwolf and anyone who crossed the line between good and evil, St John pressed the tit and there was a fireball with bits of human bodies flying out of it. I want one of those for my car.

  1. Silly question, but if you’re chasing a motorbike why not simply use a motorbike? It’s hard to see what advantage a hover bike would have unless you wanted to chase over water. In which case, what would you be chasing?
    ” it would have the manoeuvrability that could outmatch a moped.” Unless you mean in a vertical direction. And that limited to a few feet. No it wouldn’t. To do a small radius turn, on a bike, you’d be pulling about 1/2G lateral. Provided by the adhesion of the tyres to the road. With a ground effect vehicle, all that lateral G has to come from vectored thrust. In addition to the thrust needed to maintain altitude. (With any aircraft, a turn requires an increase in thrust to maintain altitude. Or you start falling out of the sky)

  2. As BiS points out, hovercraft are a bugger to steer. Try following a moped down alleys or any other narrow and twisty path and you’ll have done loads of expensive damage to the hoverbike and probably to the rider’s legs as well. Technology for the sake of technology is a waste of money. Give the police small and powerful motorbikes instead, and forget the Taser because no-one is going to be able aim one properly at high speed.

  3. @Mr cat. Locking on to the target wouldn’t be a problem. Automated target acquisition’s been state-of-the-art for a couple decades. But a trailing wire taser isn’t going to work against a 50mph headwind. It’d have to be a taser projectile carried its own inverter & power pack. Significant mass to fire into someone’s back. And if you did taser a rider off of a moto at a significant speed the chances of inflicting serious injury or even death are extremely high. Not something one would envisage Plod risking over what might turn out to be a minor traffic offence.