São Paulo: civil society expresses concern over military police tender, altering body camera programme

Eighteen organizations state that the São Paulo Military Police tender radically alters the successful programme initiated four years ago

Eighteen civil society organizations expressed concern last week over a tender by the São Paulo Military Police that alters the body camera program in the state of São Paulo. According to human rights and public security organizations, the body camera project, implemented by the Military Police in 2020, represented an important step in the professionalisation of the force by increasing transparency, protecting officers from false accusations, producing evidence for the justice system, and reducing levels of lethal force. Part of the success achieved by the ´Olho Vivo´ Programme is due to the meticulous work of the corps’ own team, which was originally responsible for the research and implementation of the proposal.

In light of this, the organizations draw attention to tender 15/2024, published by the São Paulo Military Police (PMESP) on 22 May 2024, which aims to replace the body cameras that are currently in use. Under the guise of expanding and integrating the equipment with other operational platforms, the tender radically alters the successful program initiated four years ago and jeopardises precisely what made it one of the most successful compliance experiences in police activity, with significant global impact.

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“Technological improvements and the economical use of public resources are essential when improving public security policies. However, the PMESP raises concerns in terms of the maintenance of the programme, because of the implementation of cameras that can only be activated at the police officer’s discretion (although this may be done remotely by a supervisor), recordings that are not continuous and the incorporation of other functionalities such as reading vehicle licence plates and identifying people. In short, the ´Olho Vivo´ Programme risks becoming an operational and surveillance tool that could ultimately be used against the interests of São Paulo’s citizens,” they state. 

The note is signed by:

Centro de Direitos Humanos e Educação Popular (CDHEP)
Centro de Estudos de Segurança e Cidadania (CESeC)
Arns Commission
Conectas Human Rights
Grupo de Estudos de Novos Ilegalismos (GENI/UFF)
The Brazilian Forum for Public Security
Iniciativa Negra por uma Nova Política de Drogas
Instituto Fogo Cruzado
Instituto Igarapé
Instituto Mundo Aflora
Instituto Sou da Paz
Instituto Terra, Trabalho e Cidadania (ITTC)
Instituto Vladimir Herzog
May Mothers Movement
The Violence Research Centre at the University of São Paulo (NEV/USP)
Plataforma Brasileira de Política de Drogas
Plataforma Justa
Rede de Proteção e Resistência Contra o Genocídio

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