Field visit in Lyon (France), 29-30 October 2009

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The concilliation of the use of CCTV and respect of individual liberties in Lyon

The « Citizens, cities and video surveillance » project
In a context of increasing debates on the use and efficiency of CCTV around Europe, the European Forum for Urban Safety (EFUS) is leading a project called « Citizens, cities and video surveillance ». The goal for the project partner is to exchange practices on CCTV, keeping in mind the central question of how to respect and protect individual freedoms. Which are the most efficient CCTV solutions? How can citizens be included in implementation and/or evaluation?

The field visit in Lyon
As part of the project, the Forum and the project partners have been welcomed by the city of Lyon for a study visit on the 29th and 30th of October. Lyon is one if the cities in France that has a long experience in terms of CCTV. It has taken into account very early the question of the respect of fundamental rights and individual liberties with the implementation of an ethical Charta and has put in place an ethics committee.

A large panel of speakers representing both the City of Lyon and State, but also the external partners of the CCTV system came to present and explain, in the course of an intensive day’s work, the elements concerning the CCTV system in Lyon. What came out of the meeting was that CCTV in Lyon is seen as a tool used in a wider crime prevention strategy. “This tool is used in a very reasonable manner”, said Didier DELORME, chief of staff of Lyon’s first Deputy Mayor while introducing the meeting. The strategic choices, application fields, technical information related to CCTV were addressed, as well as the training of operators.

Presentations were made on the integration of CCTV in a global approach of situational prevention, evaluation of impacts and completed by the contribution of essential partners (National police, public transports and commercial centre). The last part of the day was focused on a presentation of the ethics Charta, and the ethical committee followed by a discussion and debate on the protection of private life and the contribution of citizens to the CCTV process.

The second day was devoted to visiting the CCTV center and to a guided tour of the Old Lyon, mainly to locate the settlements of CCTV – while also taking the opportunity to learn more about the exceptional historical heritage of the City.