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Parliament approves public surveillance law

Parliament approves public surveillance law

by Yannick HANSEN 02.07.2021 From our online archive
Law allows police to install video surveillance in high-risk areas under limited circumstances
Photo credit: REUTERS

Luxembourg lawmakers approved a new surveillance law that would allow the police to install video cameras in areas that are susceptible to crime, possibly expanding already existing public surveillance. 

The law that passed on Thursday was supported by 52 out of the parliament's 60 deputies. Lawmakers from the liberal Pirate Party and The Left voted against the law, while members of the right-wing ADR abstained on the grounds that the new policing powers do not reach far enough.

Police should install video cameras in the capital city's Bonnevoie area, which has seen a rise in crime, Christian Democrat MP and city alderman Laurent Mosar said. The adjacent Gare district is a hot zone for drug trafficking, prostitution and petty theft, authorities said. 

Luxembourg is the only city in the country that already uses video surveillance, but the placement of the existing cameras will be evaluated against new conditions required by the law.  

The legislation would allow police to set up cameras only as a last-resort if all other crime-prevention methods have failed, the internal security ministry said in a statement. Authorities also need to prove that an area is susceptible to crime or that large crowds frequent it. An independent commission will judge whether those conditions are met. 

New video cameras could then be put in place for three years and footage obtained from them can only be stored for two months unless it becomes evidence in an investigation, the ministry said.

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