French interior minister Michele Alliot-Marie announced Thursday the government is planning to " triple" the existing CCTV surveillance capacities across the country, with a view to curbing the risks of terrorism and acts of violence.
After chairing a meeting over the issue, the minister told the press she intended to develop CCTV surveillance "as a priority within the framework of an upcoming law on interior security orientation and programming (LOPSI)" which is expected to be submitted to the council of ministers in autumn.
In order to "cover as much territory as possible," she said, there is a need for "enhanced networking with all those" who are already using this technology, notably citing "local authorities, Paris transport authorities (RATP), French national railway company (SNCF), and large shopping complexes."
This will be done by "interconnecting" all systems between themselves, with the exclusion of private installations, the minister said.
The cost of interconnection and public equipments runs into "several thousand million euros in total," according to the minister.
The minister says these measures are necessary for " protecting the French people against terrorism or other forms of violence, and enable them to move freely without fearing for their lives or property."
She also said the duration of conserving CCTV images would remain "between 48 hours to a week depending on the sites," noting it was "out of question for the police to be allowed to have access to data" in private installations.