Body Cams On Trans Regio’s Mit­tel­rhein­Bahn Trains

To increase the safe­ty of cus­to­mer ser­vice staff and all pas­sen­gers, Net­Co body cams have been in use on Trans Regio’s Mit­tel­rhein­bahn line sin­ce August 2021. A total of five employees wear bright yel­low high-visi­bi­li­ty ves­ts on the rou­te bet­ween Mainz, Koblenz and Colo­gne after 7 p.m., to which the small came­ras are atta­ched. The body cams are acti­va­ted when­ever it is dee­med neces­sa­ry in cri­ti­cal situations.

Choo­sing The Body Cam After Increase In Assaults

The reason for the intro­duc­tion of the body cams was an eva­lua­ti­on of the employees’ dai­ly reports, which reve­a­led a sharp increase in assaults and cri­ti­cal inci­dents. In addi­ti­on, the per­so­nal fee­ling of safe­ty of each pas­sen­ger is important in the ques­ti­on of whe­ther and how much public trans­port is used and is the­r­e­fo­re a cen­tral con­cern of many public trans­port companies.

Pilot Pro­ject With Obstacles

The pro­ject was ori­gi­nal­ly laun­ched in 2019, but was sus­pen­ded in the mean­ti­me due to a pan­de­mic befo­re being revi­ved in the sum­mer of 2021. Trans Regio is thus one of the first trans­port com­pa­nies in Ger­ma­ny to use body cams for employee and pas­sen­ger pro­tec­tion. In pre­vious use cases, body came­ras have only been used by poli­ce forces and secu­ri­ty services.

It was a long road to the start of the pro­ject, howe­ver, as both the Rhi­ne­land-Pala­ti­na­te and North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia sta­te data pro­tec­tion aut­ho­ri­ties had to give their appr­oval beforehand.

Data Pro­tec­tion Has Priority

Com­pli­ance with the GDPR was a top prio­ri­ty both befo­re the start and during the pro­ject. The works coun­cil and all respon­si­ble data pro­tec­tion offi­cers of the com­pa­ny (Trans Regio) and the sta­te of Rhi­ne­land-Pala­ti­na­te are invol­ved in all pro­ces­ses and are in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on about this.

Use Cases Are Cle­ar­ly Regulated

The cus­to­mer ser­vice repre­sen­ta­ti­ves who agreed to test the use of the body came­ra were first given exten­si­ve trai­ning in how to use the small came­ras. During the checks, the body cam is in stand­by mode by default. In cri­ti­cal situa­tions, it is acti­va­ted as nee­ded with a tap on the touch­screen. The pas­sen­ger can then see hims­elf in the mir­ror func­tion on the body cam dis­play. Howe­ver, the came­ra does not yet record. Only when the cus­to­mer ser­vice repre­sen­ta­ti­ves press the record but­ton and have signal­ed to the guest that they are begin­ning to record does the actu­al recor­ding start. The recor­ded data is only read out and per­ma­nent­ly stored if the fede­ral poli­ce con­sider the foo­ta­ge to be rele­vant for cri­mi­nal inves­ti­ga­ti­ons. For exam­p­le, a recor­ding from 2019 was reques­ted by the Colo­gne Fede­ral Poli­ce. This invol­ved a mass brawl on a Mit­tel­rhein­Bahn train. Thanks to the recor­dings, the inves­ti­ga­ting aut­ho­ri­ties were hel­ped to find the perpetrators.

First Con­clu­si­on:

Trans Regio accom­pa­nied the intro­duc­tion of the body cams with a pos­ter cam­paign with the slo­gan “Becau­se three eyes see more” and had alre­a­dy been dra­wing atten­ti­on to the pro­ject on the trains for some time and rai­sing awa­re­ness among pas­sen­gers. Initi­al feed­back show­ed that both employees and pas­sen­gers feel safer as a result of the body cams and are more atten­ti­ve in their behavior.

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