Fewer than half of the CCTV cameras in the capital are permanently filming
CCTV is not a “miracle solution to prevent crime” and “its use must be strictly limited and clearly framed,” Luxembourg’s interior security minister has said.
Responding to a parliamentary question from Gilles Roth and Laurent Mosar (CSV) concerning the legality of the network of CCTV cameras in the capital, known as “Visupol”, in light of recent data protection regulations, François Bausch (déi Gréng) made it clear he was not a fan of the network.
“I have always had a reserved attitude in relation to CCTV, which is why I did not agree with the opinion of the city’s prevention committee, nor did I cede to pressure from different political parties or the city council which requested an immediate extension of CCTV in Bonnevoie in January/February 2019,” he writes.
He explains that one of the first acts following his investiture as interior security minister at the end of 2018 was to request an in-depth study from the police inspector general into the CCTV network installed by police. “I have also made it known that my plan is to strengthen the current leglislation by introducing a specific legal framework to install future CCTV cameras. The opinion of the national commission for the protection of data of 15 March 2019 supports my idea for a specific legal framework,” he adds.
The next step will be for the police inspector general to analyse whether the network meets the requirements of the law of 1 August 2018 on citizens’ privacy rights, in relation to legal matters and national security.
Luxembourg had 74 CCTV cameras in the capital in 2009. Last year, the then interior security minister Etienne Schneider said the scheme would be extended in the Gare and Bonnevoie districts. He said at the time that some 2,504 crimes had been reported in areas covered by CCTV from 2007 to 2016 and the footage had helped law enforcers to identify 1,223 suspects.
Responding to a 14 March 2019 parliamentary question from MP Sven Clement (Piraten), Bausch explained that the CCTV network had led to seven suspects being caught “in the act” in 2017, and three in 2018. He said footage was most commonly used in investigations of vandalism, theft or violence. What is more, he wrote that access to CCTV recording and viewing was extremely limited and that 67 of the 125 total CCTV cameras in the capital were permanently recording.