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Assaults on police officers are on the rise in Germany. Could bodycams have a deescalating effect? The small wearable video cameras can record attacks on police as well as police use of force. They provide evidence – but do they prevent violence?
Officers are authorized to turn on their bodycams when faced with a threat of violence in a public place. They are also required to inform any member of the public that they are being filmed. Most German federal states have already begun using bodycams for police - much to the dismay of data protection experts and activists, who say this threatens the fundamental right to data privacy. Police counter that bodycams have proven very effective in deescalating violent assaults. Their footage is also useful evidence in court. In return, the bodycam also makes it possible to monitor the behavior of police officers. We accompany two police officers on patrol in Mainz. A report by Robert Heller.