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.
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.