The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Kanton Bern Can Compel Municipalities to Use Video Surveillance

The Bern canton has been granted the power to install video surveillance in dangerous areas, even if the local municipality objects. This was decided by the Grand Council in the first reading of the revised Police Act. The left-wing parties see this as an infringement of local autonomy, as the canton wishes to install cameras in front of the Autonomous Cultural Centre in Bern, despite the city's objections. Supporters of the measure hope that it will increase public safety. The government must order the step, rather than the Security Directorate alone, and a high level of legitimacy is required if the canton overrules a municipality. Another point of contention in the law revision is the automated vehicle search. Vehicle license plates are recorded at sensitive locations and automatically compared with police search systems. The Council was divided on how long the collected data should be stored. The SP-Juso and GLP wanted to keep the storage period as short as possible, at 15 days, while the majority of the Council argued that the police need the data to investigate crimes, and that a storage period of 60 days is appropriate.nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

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