Reveal body cameras introduced to protect South Essex parking officers
Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) from the South Essex Parking Partnership (SEPP) have now been issued with Reveal RS3-SX body cameras to help with protection and evidence gathering.
The Chairman of the SEPP Joint Committee, Councillor Ron Pratt (Maldon District Council), provided the following statement:
"The SEPP Joint Committee Members agreed and approved the funding for CCTV body- worn cameras in order to enhance the working environment of the enforcement officers and to enhance their safety and wellbeing when facing aggressive, threatening or abusive behaviour from members of the public.
“Parking enforcement provides an essential service which contributes to the overall traffic management of the public highway, ensuring the safe, free flow of traffic and managing the competing demand for road side parking.
“Since the start of 2013 the officers have reported 95 incidents of serious verbal abuse or physical assault while carrying out their duties across the six partnership areas, 26 of the incidents were deemed serious enough to involve the police. While some reported police incidents resulted in arrest and charge, the majority resulted in verbal warnings due to a lack of real evidence.
“The cameras will form part of the CEO's uniform and will only be activated in circumstances where the officers feel their safety has been compromised or they are likely to be subject to verbal or physical abuse.
“Official research has shown that Body-worn CCTV has the potential to significantly reduce the number of incidents of verbal and physical abuse the CEOs encounter.
“Where incidents do occur, these cameras will improve the quality of evidence available to The Parking Partnership, the police and courts, particularly in cases where there are no other witnesses".
The Joint Committee Member for Chelmsford, Councillor Ian Grundy said, "Providing staff with the necessary support and equipment to effectively carry out their roles is important to the Parking Partnership. I am pleased that the success of the Parking Partnership has enabled the Joint Committee to invest in the staff and to provide this essential equipment, which will help to prevent unnecessary threatening and abusive behaviour; with the added benefit of providing evidence to the authorities, if an incident should occur.”
Reveal body cameras uniquely feature front facing screens which clearly demonstrates that a subject’s behaviour is being recorded and in many instances has been shown to alter and deter aggressive behaviour.