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French police armed with flashball launchers. Wikipedia

French police body cams an expensive fiasco

A year after French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced a more frequent use of this type of device, a French newspaper exposed the fact that the body cams have not been used.

Published: January 23, 2020, 10:35 am

    Paris

    The satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné revealed on Wednesday, January 22, that the equipment has been gathering dust.

    After the executive distributed some 10 400 body cameras to the police, during the crisis of Yellow Vests, at a cost of 2,3 million euros, the latter have not been put to good use.

    The issue is, according to a public security official quoted by the newspaper, “the fixings [which] do not hold” and “a ridiculous autonomy”.

    The official explained: “We have to leave with four spare batteries, or else, to save battery life, we leave the camera off. And restarting it takes ages.” The same source said the cameras’ limited viewing angle also hampered their use.

    Because of that, They are “kept at the bottom of drawers,” according to the the weekly.

    After months of demonstrations by the Yellow Vests and numerous cases of police violence, Christophe Castaner had announced, in January 2019, that the police officers carrying flashball launchers (LBD) – controversial weapons which have caused multiple injuries – “would be, as far as possible, equipped with body cameras”.

    At the National Assembly, the Minister of the Interior also set the objective of such a measure: “It would respond to the double requirement of transparency and exemplarity that we owe to the French.”

    A year later, this “requirement” too, seems to have been “kept in the back of the drawer”.

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