Bodycams in Portugal: Parliament approves law and paves the way for nationwide implementation
Another great victory for bodycams and the frontline professionals who need and use them; Portugal’s parliament has approved a new law that allows for nationwide implementation. Now bodycams in Portugal will be provided to law enforcement organisations so that they can better protect and serve.
The Portuguese parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, has voted to approve a new law that allows the use of bodycams in Portugal. The new law was broadly supported by a wide variety of parties as politicians are convinced of the need for bodycam programs. It will help protect frontline professionals so that they can continue to serve their country and society.
Bodycams in Portugal: for who and under which circumstances?
The newly approved law will allow various organisations to implement bodycam programs such as:
- Police and security forces
- Local law enforcement (PSP)
- The National Republican Guard (GNR)
- The National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC)
This broad acceptance clearly shows the political opinions existing in Portugal concerning the need for bodycams across the country. The law states clearly that the use of bodycams must uphold to national and E.U. standards for privacy protection and data security. It further codifies the rules of bodycam usage by security forces with the following criteria:
- The bodycams must be placed visibly on a uniform or equipment
- It needs to be provided with a patch or sign indicating its purpose, this is also required in other European countries such as Germany
- The bodycam can only be activated when there is a pressing need, and can not be used without any cause, as is only natural with any tool that law enforcement has at their disposal
- Activation of the bodycam is required when force is used during an incident
- The public must be told that the bodycam is being activated
- Furthermore the video evidence must be processed and stored in a way that complies with Portuguese and general European rules and regulations, specifically the GDPR
An element of the bill that was rejected was the collection of biometric data, which again is in line with European policies. Furthermore, video surveillance through various methods was approved for use during traffic controls and emergency situations.
Bodycams prevent and reduce incidents and provide hard evidence when necessary.
Across the world bodycam programs have been implemented, for a wide variety of fields and industries. From paramedics, to police, to fire brigades, all manner of frontline professionals are experiencing the added benefit of using a bodycam during their daily duties. The bodycam footage provides an objective, truthful record of what took place, which in turn can be used as evidence that holds up in courts worldwide. Frontline professionals have experienced the increased feelings of safety as a result of their own bodycam solutions, as escalation is combatted and objective evidence is gathered.