Swiss police give a resounding 'yes' to bodycams after successful pilot
After receiving an 8.7 from the Dutch police, ZEPCAM bodycams are also praised and given the go-ahead by the Swiss police.
Following a satisfactory pilot which started in 2019, police officers from the canton of Vaud and the city Lausanne in Switzerland have decided to continue to wear bodycams.
The University of Lausanne presented a report in April 2020, highlighting the results of the police’s pilot with 16 bodycams from July 2019 to January 2020. The report states that bodycams contribute to the de-escalation of violence and the lessening and resolving of physical or verbal aggression. They also have a reassuring effect on the wearer, promoting trust and supporting the bodycam owner enough to confidently carry out everyday duties.
According to Pierre-Antoine Hildbrand, councillor of Lausanne, the tone changes and people behave better once a police officer announces he is going to activate the camera.
Bodycams also provide evidence from the frontline, allowing police officers to demonstrate their take on events more effectively and potentially providing evidence that will stand up in court.
During the test phase, 16 police officers and 4 deputies participated in the experiment, making 115 voluntary recordings in total. Most cases involved people with mental health problems (26), domestic violence (19), fights (18), aggressive supporters (15) and identity checks (12).
Positive response to bodycams
The report from the University of Lausanne confirms that the police have responded positively to the bodycams, as they are sturdy, reliable, provide support and lead to less conflicts. Where the use of bodycams was once a controversial topic among police officers, bodycams are now widely embraced by the police due to the many benefits they provide.
Something police officers do stress, however, is the need for clear guidelines which prohibit the use of recorded images for daily supervisory purposes.
Bodycams implemented in all Vaud police departments
Given the interesting results of the successful pilot with bodycams, the Cantonal Security Council has decided to continue this experiment and implement the use of ZEPCAM bodycams in all police departments in Vaud.
Download the full 160-page evaluation report (French) distributed by the University of Lausanne
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