Body Worn Video Steering Group
The Daily Mail has reported that there are over 400 attacks on frontline workers per week in the UK. Freedom of information requests were issued around the country which discovered there had been 65,970 attacks in the last three years alone, amounting to 60 incidents every day.
Greater London Authority (GLA), who gathered the data, are now calling for frontline workers to be equipped with body worn video as part of a larger initiative to reduce and eliminate attacks on people on duty.
GLA Conservative crime spokesman Roger Evans, author of the report, said: “We depend on frontline workers whether it’s a medical emergency or getting us to work.
“These people need to be treated with respect.
“Shockingly, I have uncovered figures which show that violence against people like nurses, cabbies and receptionists is rife.
“They are being punched, kicked, scratched, threatened and spat on every day whilst doing their job.
“Affordable wearable technology, such as wearable panic buttons and body worn cameras, will help bolster the security and protection of these essential workers.”
Some 22,056 police officers and 1,077 PCSOs have been attacked while on duty in England and Wales, while 6,045 rail staff have been physically and verbally attacked.
However it is not just law enforcement officers who experience the threat of violence. Graham Brinkhurst, a London taxi driver for 16 years, was attacked in February after picking up a young couple in Camden. He said: “I’d driven 100 yards down a one-way system with them when the man asked me to turn right.
“He became insistent despite the fact that it was not possible to turn off in the first place. He got more and more abusive and repeatedly called me names such as f****** d*******.
“I suggested to them that it would be best if we end the journey and they get another cab. As I pulled over, left the cab, and opened the back door to let them out, the guy pushed me aggressively.
“I stumbled backwards and fell on to the kerb, breaking my thigh bone. Eventually, a passer-by called the ambulance for me. I was off work for three months and lost about £7,000 in income.”
Body worn cameras have already demonstrated that they can reduce attacks on workers because of their deterring nature. Hopefully other lone workers who face similar threats will begin to look in the direction of body worn video.