Deutsche Bahn and the Federal Police test body cameras to reduce violence against staff and officers
Mini-monitors to deter attackers
Recording in conflict situations only
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is testing bodycams for its security staff at stations in Berlin. “We’re trying to use all means possible to prevent attacks on our staff. We trust that bodycams will lead to a reduction in the violence against our members of staff,” said DB Head of Security, Hans-Hilmar Rischke. In the first half of 2016, 950 DB employees were attacked nationwide, 10% more than in the same period in 2015. While serious injuries are thankfully an exception, more than two thirds of the attacks involved security staff. Apart from expanded training, DB is counting on technical support to help protect its staff.
Since February 2016, the Federal Police has been testing the use of bodycams. The acceptance among officers, the positive interest in this technology among the population and successful preventive police operations all clearly favour bodycams,
said Thomas Striethörster, the President of the Federal Police Directorate in Berlin.
DB security personnel where the bodycams on their chests, which relay images live on the device’s monitor. This means that an attacker can see himself during the incident. In conflict situations, the security officers can store the footage at the push of a button. In contrast to the video cameras located in stations, bodycams do not only serve to secure evidence in the case of offences; they are also intended to deter attackers. The pilot is planned to run until the end of the year at the Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz and Zoologischer Garten stations in Berlin. If the technology proves worthwhile, other stations nationwide will roll out the technology quickly. Bodycams can also be tested when football fans travel to matches and when large numbers of passengers are travelling to events such as festivals. All relevant rules relating to data protection for customers and employees have been taken into account during the test phase. These strict rules reduce the extent of the video footage recorded, they secure encryption and ensure that only the police authorities are able to access the data. The bodycams do not record any sound. Employees wearing the bodycams identify themselves by wearing a tag reading “video surveillance” (“Videoüberwachung”).
There are 5,000 Federal Police officers and 3,700 DB security employees nationwide. This year, DB will invest €160 million in keeping customers and employees safe. 700 stations in Germany are already fitted with around 5,000 cameras. A further 27,000 cameras are installed on regional and suburban trains. By 2023, DB and the Federal Police will together spend €85 million on expanding video surveillance at stations.
Note for editorial teams: You can find photos of bodycams in use and sample bodycam video sequences (mp4) at www.deutschebahn.com/mediathek