Body Worn Video Steering Group

Israeli police officers could be forced to wear body worn video cameras

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Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On has sought the public security minister’s cooperation in passing a bill intended to reduce violence and false complaints.

The proposal would require Israeli police officers to wear body worn cameras for a one-year trial period in an effort to reduce use of force incidents and false complaints against officers.

Israeli police arrest

“We’ve been considering it for a long time,” the Meretz Party leader said.

“There’s a good balance here – it helps civilians who are demonstrating or get into a situation where a police officer arrests them, and just knowing that police officers have cameras can lead to a reduction in violence as well as in false complaints, because people will know that it’s being documented.”

The bill cannot be submitted until November, however.

The camera idea, said Gal-On, “came from a place of protesters’ rights, but you also have to look at the whole issue of police violence, the use of Tasers and all those things.”

The Meretz chairwoman said the benefits of reducing excessive force outweigh privacy concerns, including the fear that footage could be leaked online and that the cameras could help the police collect information about civilians.

“This concern exists, with all the significance of invasions of privacy,” she said. “But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.”

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