The Brussels-Capital Ixelles police zone is poised to expand its network of surveillance cameras by almost a quarter in the next few months, based on figures which Brussels mayor Philippe Close announced Monday evening at a Brussels City Council meeting.
Mouvement Réformateur (MR) councillor David Weytsman enquired about the quality and efficiency of the video surveillance network of the City of Brussels, and whether more cameras will be installed soon.
At the moment, police can use their own network of 370 cameras distributed around the city of Brussels and the municipality of Ixelles when they want to view the footage. Now, the network of cameras will be expanded considerably, said the Mayor of Brussels.
"Currently there are 106 new cameras that are being installed. Of these 106, 88 will be installed on the territory of the City of Brussels. We want to have 62 new cameras installed by the end of the year," explained the Mayor of Brussels.
While new cameras will be spread around the capital, certain 'rougher neighbourhoods', such as the Stalingrad quarter, will have more cameras installed and thereby increased police surveillance.
Video surveillance is a controversial topic even though law enforcement often installs video surveillance cameras in public to enhance security.
While cameras at specific, high profile public spaces that could be targets for terrorist threats may be useful, privacy activists warn against the impulse to install surveillance cameras everywhere citing issues with efficiency, the potential for abuse and its effect on public life.