New Year’s Eve: When hel­pers them­sel­ves beco­me vic­tims — more pro­tec­tion through body cams demanded

The recent events of New Year’s Eve in Ber­lin and other Ger­man cities have once again shown that the poten­ti­al for aggres­si­on and the wil­ling­ness to use vio­lence have increased in socie­ty. The ext­ent of the riots and the rage of the per­pe­tra­tors have shaken the popu­la­ti­on and have led to lou­der calls for secu­ri­ty forces to be equip­ped with body cams. The poli­ce, fire bri­ga­de and res­cue ser­vices, who make an important con­tri­bu­ti­on to socie­ty, are incre­asing­ly beco­ming vic­tims them­sel­ves and are unable to car­ry out their duties due to assaults. The­r­e­fo­re, the ever-incre­asing unrest — inclu­ding that on New Year’s Eve — affects each and every one of us.

Ordnungsamt Mitarbeiter setzt seine Body-Cam ein

How can emer­gen­cy and res­cue forces pro­tect them­sel­ves from vio­lent attacks?

Body cams have a pro­ven de-escala­ting effect and pre­vent the escala­ti­on of a con­flict in many situa­tions. On New Year’s Eve, howe­ver, the inten­si­ty of the riots cle­ar­ly show­ed that de-escala­ti­on of the situa­ti­on is not pos­si­ble: the per­pe­tra­tors deli­bera­te­ly set out to attack emer­gen­cy and res­cue forces. On other days of the year, too, hel­pers are incre­asing­ly expo­sed to attacks by vio­lent fel­low human beings, espe­ci­al­ly when alco­hol and drugs are invol­ved and the atta­ckers can no lon­ger think ratio­nal­ly.
In such cases, the body cam takes on the func­tion of pre­ser­ving evi­dence for pro­se­cu­ti­on: The recor­ded assaults on emer­gen­cy forces can be used in court and can, on the one hand, record the offence and any accom­pany­ing dama­ge to pro­per­ty and, on the other hand, ser­ve to bet­ter iden­ti­fy the perpetrators.

What other posi­ti­ve effects do body cams have?

The use of body cams not only pro­vi­des increased pro­tec­tion for the emer­gen­cy ser­vices, but can also give tho­se affec­ted by vio­lent attacks a grea­ter sen­se of secu­ri­ty in their ever­y­day lives. In addi­ti­on, the came­ras can coun­ter­act the incre­asing dis­re­spect towards secu­ri­ty per­son­nel and also ser­ve to deter per­pe­tra­tors. Thus, body cams make the ever­y­day life of secu­ri­ty forces safer and less violent.

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