Body cam worn by police in Germany

Portugal’s police inch closer to wearing ‘body cams’

Body cams fitted on police uniforms are “closer to becoming a reality”, writes tabloid Correio da Manhã today – pointing out their implementation has been under discussion for the last three years.

Police themselves have been asking for them, particularly in the wake of video footage posted online of incidents in which body cams would have given a possibly clearer picture of what exactly happened and why.

Say reports today, the delay in getting the country’s security forces equipped with technology that elsewhere has become commonplace has largely been with the process of getting ‘opinions’ from entities like the national commission for data protection, and the general inspectorate of internal administration.

But now, at last, the issue is approaching the home-straight.

Said interior minister Eduardo Cabrita, the new law coming into place surrounding video vigilance will allow for the possibility of police wearing body cams.

Mr Cabrita has become synonymous with rather curious announcements. Most recently he “revealed” (in the words of ECO online) that criminality in 2020 had fallen to “the lowest levels since records began”. The only exception, he said, was IT crime, which had shown a “significant increase”.

Considering he was referring to a period when the country was massively hampered by restrictions on mobility – not to mention the weeks when people were confined to their homes day and night – it was hardly surprising for criminality to have dropped, nor for it to have increased online.

This is the same minister who justified his political worth not long ago (in the wake of the scandal at SEF in which a defenceless Ukrainian was beaten to death) stressing there had not been “a single death in fires” during his ministerial watch.

Mr Cabrita has however resisted all pressures on him to resign over the SEF affair (click here), and in parliament yesterday pledged police would also be receiving the ‘subsidy of risk’ they have long been asking for by June.

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