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Watching you Zurich police force want body cams for all patrol officers

Zurich city police chiefs would like all of their officers on patrol to wear body cameras after a trial period was deemed a success. But not everyone welcomes this new tool for bobbies on the beat. (SRF/swissinfo.ch) 

Last year there were more than 3,000 attacks on officers throughout Switzerland. The main role of the cameras is to protect the police. 

It's argued that the body cams will also safeguard the public from abusive officers. But the human rights group, Eyes Open, which deals with complaints of police abuse, says officers could simply switch off the cameras when it suits them. 

Daniel Blumer, commander of Zurich city police, disagrees. "The body cams help to shed light on all offences. That is objective evidence," he says.

The Association of Swiss Police Officersexternal link is concerned that the constant recording of the work of officers on patrol will put them under additional pressure. "They might feel as if they are being constantly monitored," says association president Johanna Bundi Ryser.

Apart from the Zurich police, only the force in St Gallen has shown interest in the body cam idea. The plan to equip all Zurich's patrol officers with cameras still has to be approved by the city parliament. 


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