Body Worn Video Steering Group
Sydney parking rangers will wear body cameras from next month in an effort to discourage physical and verbal abuse from motorists.
Former ranger Mahmud Swalah-McDahrou knows the dangers all too well after he was attacked almost six years ago on Crown Street in Surry Hills.
An angry motorist asked Mr Swalah-McDahrou if he was being booked before biting him on the face and kicking him to the ground.
His attacker was sentenced to 18 months in jail, however the former ranger can still only work a couple of days a week in a desk job, such was the extent of his injuries.
“Sometimes I do get upset when I think about it, but there’s nothing I can do – I just have to move on,” he said.
Since the attack, almost 70 other officers have been assaulted.
Body cameras will allow the rangers to warn agitated motorists that they are being filmed and footage can be used in court in the event of a prosecution.
“They should be able to do their job without the threat of physical or verbal abuse,” Sydney Council’s Garry Harding said.
“They got families to go home to – we want them to go home safely,” he said.
The decision comes after trial runs with Burwood and Ryde councils have seen a 95 percent reduction in violent attacks on their officers, who were also subject to frequent attacks.
“Officers have been physically threatened, abused, punched, kicked, spat on,” Ryde Council’s Leon Marskell said.
(Via: 9 News)