Swiss Police joins forces with Zepcam in bodycam pilot

Lausanne, 4th of July 2019: The Lausanne and Canton Police force, in collaboration with the University of Lausanne, will conduct a pilot with bodycams. The bodycams will be used only during police interventions in which it is found that a crime is committed or about to be committed. The video footage is intended to be sent to the public prosecutor’s office and the juvenile court as evidence.

State Councilor Béatrice Métraux, Head of the Department of Institutions and Security Council and Lausanne City Councilor Pierre-Antoine Hildbrand, Director of Security and the Economy have decided to set up this pilot project which will be conducted from July 8 to December 31, 2019.  

The Cantonal Security Council also validated it on the 1st July 2019. In concrete terms, a judicial police directive, co-signed by the Attorney General and the commander of the cantonal police, head of the judicial police of Vaud, specifies the conditions in which the cameras worn by the police will be used. In general, the bodycams will be clearly identifiable. The cameras will only be initiated in situations where a criminal offense is detected or the imminence of his probable commission is suspected. The people filmed have been informed beforehand. The recorded data can only be used by order of the management of criminal proceedings (public prosecutors and presidents of the Juvenile Court). 

The preparation of this pilot was supported by the two police unions involved. The primary objective is to contribute to the benefit of the criminal competent authorities, to establish facts which may constitute infringements of the criminal legislation. 

The evaluation of the scheme will be conducted by the University of Lausanne (UNIL), supported by a scientific committee made up of members of the School of Criminal UNIL, the University of Applied Sciences Zurich (ZHAW) and the Center International Committee of Comparative Criminology at the University de Montréal. At the end of these procedures, a report will be submitted to the authorities concerned. 

This study will analyze the position of technology in police work, images (amateur images as well images taken by the police), “accountability” police and requests for information from external organizations (organizations citizens, the media, etc.), the role of technical intermediaries in the relationship between police and the population and the management of dematerialized evidence. The goal is also to better assess the potential impact of such equipment on police activity, more particularly the interactions between the police and the population. Finally, it will be necessary to determine if the cameras worn by the police are likely to reduce acts of violence committed against them.