News

Bavarian Police Trial Reveal Body Cameras

20-02-2017

This story was originally reported on BR24 Oberbayern, you can read the full article here.

Photo Credit: Sven Hopp

The Bavarian Police are set to trial Reveal body cameras in the provinces of Augsburg, Munich and Rosenheim, as part of an experiment to reduce the number of abusive attacks on police officers.

The Ministry of the Interior reports that there were almost 7,000 cases of abuse against police officers and civil servants in Bavaria in 2016.

Other police departments in Germany have previously trialled competing body worn video systems, but the Bavarian Police have opted to trial Reveal’s body cameras due to the high-quality combination of audio and visual components the Reveal RS2-X2 camera offers, that is not offered by other competitors.

Officers will wear the body cameras as part of their uniform, clearly displayed and mounted on their chests. It is also reported that officers equipped with Reveal body worn video will bear distinct labels notifying members of the public that they are using audio/visual equipment.

Reveal’s RS2-X2 camera features a unique front-facing screen, which displays events in real time. The screen allows members of the public to view themselves being recorded, which helps to de-escalate situations that could potentially turn abusive, by highlighting the behaviour of the member(s) of the public, while also documenting the event for evidential purposes.

The footage from the body camera is securely stored, managed and viewed on the accompanying Digital Evidence Management Software (DEMS).

The body camera demonstrates transparency between the police and members of the public, and accounts for officer behaviour as well as that of members of the public. A study conducted by Cambridge University showed that body worn video had proved a 90% decrease in complaints against officers, and in a study in Rialto, California showed a 50% reduction in officer use of force.

The cameras will only be used in areas where video surveillance is already permitted and the Bavarian Police stress that the body cameras will not record all the time, only in instances where the situation threatens to escalate and could become a danger to the officer’s or another’s wellbeing.

Officers in Cologne and officers in Bremen and Stuttgart have already started to use Reveal body cameras in their duties. Steffen Zaiser, spokesman for the Federal Police in Stuttgart said: “They are being deployed with protecting officials from attacks in mind.”

To learn more about the Reveal camera used by the Bavarian Police please click here.