Waste and road employees in Herts issued body cameras after receiving increasing abuse

Body cameras worn by police.

Body cameras worn by police. - Credit: Archant

Waste and roadworks employees contending with increasing abuse at work have resorted to wearing body cameras.

Herts county council (HCC) has noticed both the Household Waste and Recycling Centre and Highways teams have been particularly targeted with harassment, verbal abuse and threats of violence.

In response, HCC contractors have issued their staff with body cameras, and the equipment has already captured some footage of the abuse.

An HCC spokesman said: “We all like to be treated with respect and to feel safe, especially at work.

“Unfortunately, that is not always the case. We are launching a campaign asking people to ‘Respect our Workforce’ amid increasing concerns about abuse directed at a number of people who work for us.”

The cameras do not record constantly and will only be turned on if an employee feels threatened - at which point, everyone will be informed.

He added: “It is hoped this will act as a deterrent against unacceptable behaviour and reduce the instances of abuse against people just trying to do their job.

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“It will also ensure safety and respect for both staff and residents alike.”

There is a Household Waste and Recycling Centre on Ronsons Way in St Albans, Dark Lane in Harpenden, Caxton Way in Stevenage, Beverley Close in Royston, Blackhorse Road in Letchworth, and along the A414 in Hatfield.

Body cameras are most well known for their use by police - Herts officers have been sporting them since 2015.

In the Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan for Hertfordshire 2017 to 2022, Everybody’s Business, police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said all warranted officers are to be issued with a body-worn camera.

It says: “I am encouraged that it is now mandatory for all police officers to wear body-worn cameras when attending a domestic abuse incident.

“This has significantly helped to support evidence-based prosecutions, particularly those where victims may be initially reluctant to make a statement or would prefer an authority to progress it on their behalf.”

Anyone with information about abuse incidents should call police on 101.