Civil Enforcement Officers in Brent are set to wear Body Worn Video equipment in a move designed to deter aggressive behaviour from illegally parked drivers.
As of 3 April 2017, parking enforcement officers across the borough will be provided with body worn video cameras to use during their daily duties. This will allow footage from incidents where motorists display threatening behaviour to be used as evidence to prosecute perpetrators, and give staff the confidence to carry out their duties without fear of threats or abuse.
In 2016 alone, there were 13 reported incidents where officers were subjected to either physical or verbal abuse. The real figures are almost certainly much higher as many officers have sadly had to accept verbal abuse as part of their daily job.
The move to use body worn videos will give extra protection to the CEOs operating on the front line and the move follows the Metropolitan Police who last year issued staff with the same equipment. Evidence shows that it can help prevent crime by diffusing difficult situations, while providing stronger proof of wrongdoing in order to support a prosecution. The video evidence will also be used to help settle appeals against any Penalty Charge Notices which motorists believe may be unfair.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“The safety of anyone working on behalf of the council is our priority. This includes Civil Enforcement Officers who should not have to suffer any verbal of physical abuse against them for enforcing parking restrictions.
No one likes to receive a Penalty Charge Notice but the council will not tolerate CEOs being mistreated just for doing their jobs. With the introduction of body cams we will now be able to protect our CEOs and push for maximum prosecution when these incidents occur.”
The footage from the body camera is automatically uploaded to secure servers once the device has been docked and flagged for use as evidence at court or other proceedings.
All footage recorded on BWV is subject to Freedom of Information and Data Protection laws. All videos which do not need to be retained as evidence, or for a policing purpose, are automatically deleted within 60 days.