Cambridgeshire

Officers to wear body cameras to film violent abuse

Body Camera Image copyright Peterborough City Council
Image caption The body cameras will record the most serious violent attacks and verbal abuse

Traffic enforcement officers in Peterborough are to be fitted with body cameras to help keep them safe.

The officers, known as traffic wardens, are among a group that issue up to 22,000 parking tickets a year.

The aim is to prevent violent attacks on officers doing a difficult job, a city councillor said.

The cameras will be used to record violent physical attacks and verbal abuse and this evidence will be passed to police for them to prosecute.

The city council said its 10 officers report "about four" serious attacks of violent physical and verbal abuse a month.

Eggs were even thrown at officers in two separate attacks in January.

Evidence for police

Janet Goodwin, cabinet advisor on business engagement and tourism, said: "Our civil enforcement officers have a difficult job and we must do all we can to ensure they are safe on our streets.

"I hope these cameras make people realise they cannot abuse our staff and if they do we can now record events and pass the video evidence on to police.

"Similar schemes are operating very effectively elsewhere in the country."

Darren Bell, from the city council's parking services, said officers would only switch on the clearly marked cameras when threatened.

He said: "This would include verbal abuse and where people put their hands on an officer."

The small body cameras will be secured to officers' uniforms. Video can then be downloaded and passed on to the police.

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