Pre­ven­ting vio­lence: Body-Cams redu­ce ten­si­ons at the airport

Recent­ly, both pas­sen­gers and air­port staff have had to put up with a lot: Strike-rela­ted flight can­cel­la­ti­ons, delays and long queu­es have strai­ned the ner­ves of ever­yo­ne invol­ved. Ahead of this, the covid rela­ted ten­si­ons had alre­a­dy crea­ted poten­ti­al for escala­ti­on at the air­ports and posed a safe­ty risk for staff and pas­sen­gers alike.

Added to this:

Due to the pan­de­mic, the­re is a gro­wing shorta­ge of skil­led workers at air­ports: bet­ween 2019 and 2021, the num­ber of avia­ti­on employees has fal­len by 4%. Accor­ding to the ger­man trade uni­on Ver­di, the­re is a shorta­ge of 20% of ground staff and, in addi­ti­on, the­re is a high rate of sick lea­ve — cau­sed, among other things, by the increase in psy­cho­lo­gi­cal and phy­si­cal vio­lence. This is becau­se, espe­ci­al­ly during vaca­ti­on peri­ods, a high tra­vel demand meets few per­son­nel, which pro­vi­des a bree­ding ground for con­flicts and escala­ti­ons. Dis­re­spectful beha­vi­or, thre­ats and phy­si­cal assaults against staff are the­r­e­fo­re beco­ming more fre­quent at air­ports. Frus­tra­ti­on and anger turn into vio­lence: flight can­cel­la­ti­ons, delays, inva­lid PCR test cer­ti­fi­ca­tes or into­xi­ca­ted pas­sen­gers are just a few examp­les of why con­flicts are triggered.

The shorta­ge of ground per­son­nel, who among other things enforce the strict secu­ri­ty mea­su­res at the air­port, also is accom­pa­nied by fede­ral poli­ce offi­cers spe­cia­li­zing in “avia­ti­on secu­ri­ty” as well as avia­ti­on secu­ri­ty assistants employ­ed by pri­va­te secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies, who in some cases take over the duties of the fede­ral poli­ce (pas­sen­ger and bag­ga­ge scree­ning). The secu­ri­ty assistants are par­ti­cu­lar­ly vul­nerable to attacks by aggressors.

More pro­tec­tion nee­ded for employees at Airports 

To ensu­re that vio­lent attacks are pre­ven­ted in the first place, a wide-ran­ging secu­ri­ty net­work has been set up at trans­port loca­ti­ons over the years. Video sur­veil­lan­ce in places with lar­ge crowds and the avo­id­ance of “dark cor­ners” by pro­vi­ding ple­nty of light are just a few examp­les.
Body-Cams can also be part of this packa­ge of mea­su­res. It has long been pro­ven that Body-Cams can be used at train sta­ti­ons, on local public trans­port or by muni­ci­pal law enforce­ment agen­ci­es: Wea­ring body cams deters aggres­sors from fur­ther escala­ting a con­flict. What works well at other trans­por­ta­ti­on and traf­fic cen­ters is now also making the day-to-day work of air­port staff easier.

Why should Body-Cams be used at airports? 

Body-Cams are non-vio­lent deploy­ment tools for all employees in the secu­ri­ty sec­tor with many func­tions and advantages:

De-escala­ti­on ins­tead of pure docu­men­ta­ti­on: In the last of three de-escala­ti­on levels, body cams can not only record con­flict situa­tions, but are addi­tio­nal­ly inten­ded to ensu­re that video recor­ding does not have to occur in the first place. The mere pre­sence of a Body-Cam on the uni­form of a secu­ri­ty employee at the air­port is alre­a­dy inten­ded to deter aggres­sors and prompt them to refrain from a plan­ned assault — for exam­p­le, in the case of con­flicts at bag­ga­ge checks.

Airport Service Gates

To fur­ther de-esca­la­te a con­flic­tu­al situa­ti­on, the secu­ri­ty per­son­nel can also acti­va­te the front dis­play of the Body-Cam so that the oppo­nent is reflec­ted in the dis­play — the inap­pro­pria­te beha­vi­or is held up to the trou­ble­ma­ker like a mir­ror. Only if the situa­ti­on gets out of hand, the Body-Cam recor­ding will be star­ted (after pri­or noti­fi­ca­ti­on). For more infor­ma­ti­on on the three de-escala­ti­on levels of Body-Cams, click here: Body-Cams: A non-vio­lent means of de-escala­ti­on? (

Employee pro­tec­tion: Body-cams can pro­vi­de an even safer envi­ron­ment at Air­ports. Due to the pro­ven de-escala­ting and deter­rent effect of the Body-Cam, the­re are fewer assaults or work­place acci­dents. As a result, staff expe­ri­ence an increased sen­se of secu­ri­ty in their day-to-day work, psy­cho­lo­gi­cal stress decrea­ses and the sick­ness rate is also reduced.

Coping with the high staff shorta­ge and staff absen­ces: If an air­port secu­ri­ty employee is equip­ped with a Body-Cam, the Body-Cam pro­vi­des the employee with pro­tec­tion and evi­dence at the same time, the­r­e­fo­re less secu­ri­ty per­son­nel can be deploy­ed in cer­tain situations.

Cri­mi­nal pro­se­cu­ti­on and court accoun­ta­bi­li­ty: Fal­se accu­sa­ti­ons are often made against the staff. Body-cam recor­dings pro­vi­de tan­gi­ble evi­dence as an “objec­ti­ve third par­ty”. The Body-Cam recor­dings are also mani­pu­la­ti­on-pro­of and can the­r­e­fo­re be used in court.

Data pro­tec­tion com­pli­ance: Body-cams are only used for a spe­ci­fic pur­po­se, so that the­re is no (con­ti­nuous) film­ing of unin­vol­ved third par­ties. In addi­ti­on, the video mate­ri­al can­not be mani­pu­la­ted. It is sent direct­ly to a ser­ver and can only be view­ed by a few aut­ho­ri­zed per­sons. If the­re is no cri­mi­nal offen­se, vide­os are irrever­si­bly dele­ted within a short time.

To ensu­re that the use of a Body-Cam has the desi­red de-escala­ting effect, secu­ri­ty per­son­nel are trai­ned in its cor­rect use before­hand, for exam­p­le as part of a com­pre­hen­si­ve de-escala­ti­on trai­ning cour­se. In this con­text, the legal aspects of Body-Cam use are also addressed.

Pri­va­te secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies that want to try out a com­ple­te body-cam solu­ti­on can also rent the body came­ras inclu­ding access­ories on a tri­al basis. We have com­pi­led fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on and a ren­tal cal­cu­la­tor here: Cont­act Body-Cam — Net­Co Pro­fes­sio­nal Ser­vices GmbH

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