Equip the police hand-held cameras brings few benefits, according to the SPVM

Équiper les policiers de caméras portatives apporte peu de bénéfices, selon le SPVM

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
In June 2015, the coroner Paul G. Dionne had recommended the wearing of cameras for police officers.

The pilot project of portable cameras in the police montreal has not demonstrated that their use promoted the transparency of interventions and / or to increase the safety of police officers, writes the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).

In June 2015, the coroner Paul G. Dionne had recommended the wearing of cameras for police after the investigation into the death of Robert Hénault, who died during a police intervention. Several studies have also indicated that the cameras could reduce the use of force and improve the safety of police officers and citizens.

For nearly a year, from may 2016 to April 2017, 78 patrol boats of the SPVM have worn small cameras in a work context. The pilot project has been deployed to the Module of the movement south, to the Section of the underground as well as in the positions of district 8 (Lachine), 38 (Plateau-Mont-Royal) and 39 (Montreal-North).

A directive stated that the police absolutely had to turn on their camera during interventions and that they should inform the citizens concerned. They should, however, suspend or cancel registration in certain circumstances, such as when a method of investigation could be disclosed or that the police were in some places, such as toilets or places of worship.

The SPVM has reviewed the administrative data and conducted surveys with participants. He concludes that the use of cameras has not had the desired effect, to defuse tense situations involving citizens to the ” problematic behaviour “.

89 % of police officers surveyed had the feeling of being watched, and several were seen in this equipment an ” intrusion, a lack of trust and an invasion of their privacy at work “. Some of them have expressed the concern that video recordings be used against them. A majority of police officers have also held that the cameras dépersonnalisaient their interactions with citizens.

The SPVM also notes that, in many cases, the records are fragmentary due to rules to follow. The data also show that the cameras had no impact on the use of force by police officers, or on the number of assaults committed by citizens against police officers. The use of cameras also raises questions about the disclosure or non-records in the case of contentious situations.

The deployment of hand-held cameras on all police montreal would cost $ 24 million per year and would require a staff of 202 persons / year additional, specific to the SPVM.

The results of the pilot project will be presented by the POLICE to the Commission of public safety Friday morning at the Montreal city hall.


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