When a conflict builds up, security personnel do not have many options to de-escalate it. Police officers in particular may also use means such as tasers and pepper spray for this purpose, which can endanger the health of the aggressors. The use of a body cam, on the other hand, is not only a (cost-)effective but also a non-violent alternative that has been proven to preventively counteract the escalation of conflicts and dangerous situations. This is especially true for body cams with a front display.
What Is The Advantage Of A Body Cam With Front Display?
Imagine the following situation: On a Saturday evening in a large city, passers-by are being harassed by a hooligan. Two police officers, each equipped with a body cam, are on patrol on foot, see the incident and intervene. The main goal of the police officers is to peacefully resolve the situation and avoid an escalation of the conflict — for the safety of the passers-by and for their own protection.
3 De-escalation Levels: This Is How The Body Cam Helps
The body cam supports its wearers in passing through the three de-escalation stages:
1. Showing Presence With The Body Cam
Often the wearing of the camera or the verbal reference to it already has a de-escalating effect, so that a further assault or the escalation of a situation can be prevented. In addition to the clearly visible front display, a patch can also be attached to the uniform jacket or an additional sticker on the camera with the inscription “Video”, so that the function of the body cam can be assessed from a distance. In our example, the rioter could notice the body camera on the uniform of the police officers as soon as they approach him.
At best, the rioter is now deterred from showing himself (verbally and physically) ready to use violence, as the police officers can directly record an image and sound evidence for prosecution, should he ignore the officers’ request to cease and desist and continue to harass the passers-by. The presence of the body cam thus also contributes to raising the inhibition threshold to escalate a conflict.
2. Indication Of Upcoming Recording — Activation Of The Mirror Function
Some rioters are so enraged that they cannot perceive or rationally assess the presence of body cams and the consequences of their own behaviour through law enforcement. The safety of officers, involved passers-by and also uninvolved third parties is at risk.
If the situation cannot be calmed down by the presence of the cameras, the police officers must resort to defusing the situation with the help of the second de-escalation level: They inform the troublemaker that they will turn on the camera if he does not adjust his behaviour and stop the harassment. So that it does not remain a mere verbal hint and the rioter sees that these are not empty threats, the officers can activate the large front display — through the mirror function, the counterpart now sees himself in the screen and his own negative behaviour is visually shown to the rioter. However, the body cam does not yet record the situation.
3. Start The Body Cam Recording
If, for this or another reason, the rioter is not deterred by the previous measures, continues his harassment or even attacks the police officers unchallenged, the emergency services activate the body cam recording: the situation is now recorded with images and sound and can serve as evidence for the public prosecutor’s office — if the rioter cannot be dissuaded from further actions. The NetCo Body-Cam documents every single detail in a legally secure manner.
(Further information on the GDPR-compliant NetCo Body-Cam can be found here: DSGVO-compliant Body-Cam use — Everything you need to know).
The Functions Of The Large Front Display At A Glance:
In 50% of cases, a conflict or dangerous situation can be de-escalated by switching on the body-cam front display, which noticeably reduces the number of incidents.