More than two-thirds of public sector employees (67 percent) have been insulted, abused, threatened or attacked while at work in the last two years. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed in a study by the German Federation of Trade Unions said that violence had increased significantly.
Regardless of whether they are railroad employees or employees of public offices, police, rescue and public order services — assaults on these occupational groups have steadily increased in recent years and are recording a drastic rise in the course of the ongoing pandemic.
Particularly in public transport, staff are currently exposed to aggressive hostility from passengers as a result of the 3G detection checks.
Public Transport: Employee Protection Is The Topic Of The Day
In the meantime, some pioneering companies in public transport are using body cams to protect their employees. And with success! The cameras are primarily used to de-escalate conflict situations. They are therefore used by the operator as a preventive measure to intercept aggression and prevent violent crime. For this to succeed, one factor in particular plays a central role: the front display.
The NetCo Body Cam — De-Escalation Takes Center Stage
The large front display on the NetCo Body Cam has two functions: On the one hand, it supports the wearer in going through the escalation stages (presence with body cam, indication of imminent recording, activation of the display) before a recording is even made, since the camera and the potentially imminent recording are clearly present. On the other hand, the filmed person sees himself through the mirror function in the display. As a result, the person being filmed is directly confronted with his/her own behavior. Switching on the mirror function (without recording) is often sufficient to de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation. This ensures that the conflict situation does not become a danger either for the body cam wearer or for uninvolved third parties.
Front Display — 50% De-Escalation By Turning On The Body Cam
The concept “body cam with display” is a valuable measure for many public transport companies to prevent dangers on the platform or inside the trains. Wiener Linien has already been using the cameras with front display since 2018. In most cases, the body cams are used to alert dog owners to the use of a muzzle, to prevent smoking on the platform or driving on the platform. The service employees of Wiener Lienen describe that especially the front display on the body cam is very helpful in their daily work. They confirm that the people filmed are deterred by the body cam recording — for fear of further legal action such as being reported to the police.
Deutsche Bahn has also been using the NetCo body cams with front display at Germany’s major train stations since 2017. The reason for this was that a large number of employees were insulted or even attacked by passengers. The cameras help DB security staff protect themselves and document assaults in compliance with the law.
The transport company Trans Regio has also purchased the body cameras for the trains of RheinmittelBahn because there have been repeated confrontations and assaults in the vehicles, especially on the train staff. In addition, the company is trying to counteract the issue of property damage and vandalism by using the body cam, because this results in high costs every year. “Our goal is to ensure that passengers and colleagues always feel safe and comfortable on our trains,” says Ingo Pfundstein, managing director of Trans Regio Deutsche Regionalbahn GmbH. A total of five customer service representatives will be wearing high-visibility vests with the NetCo body cam on the trains from 7 p.m. onwards. The conclusion so far is that “both employees and passengers feel safer and behave differently as a result of the body cams.”
Body cams with a visible display have a proven de-escalating effect on attackers and protect not only their wearers but also uninvolved third parties.