Dutch BOA officers (Local Law Enforcement Officers) are increasingly on the frontline due to the expansion of their area of work, extra enforcement and the corona crisis. They currently experience substantially more aggression and violence while performing their duties. As a result, municipalities have started to equip their BOA officers with the means to support their work, including bodycams.
According to the chairman of the Dutch Boa Bond Ruud Kuin, the violence against BOA officers has increased by a whopping 20 percent. In an interview on the Security Management website, he explains that the number of incidents due to violence has risen from 400 to 600 in 5 years. Earlier this year, trade union BOA ACP explained that BOA officers saw the number of violent incidents increase by 90% and that 51% has experienced a violent incident since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bodycams become standard equipment
BOA bond chairman Kuin and trade unions have been arguing for the expansion of the (defense) resources of BOA officers for some time now. Opinions are strongly divided about equipping BOAs with pepper spray and batons. There are, however, a number of regional experiments. Municipalities are currently equipping their BOAs en masse with bodycams.
Bodycams prevent unwanted behaviour
Bodycams have a preventive and de-escalating function according to several studies. They also provide legal evidence if situations do get out of hand. Thanks to the clearly visible presence of bodycams, unwanted behaviour (and therefore incidents) are often prevented at an early stage. As a result, BOAs wearing bodycams feel safer and more supported while performing their duties.
ZEPCAM sees a strongly increasing demand for bodycams from Dutch municipalities and has provided the 50th municipality with bodycams at the start of December.