More and more police forces in the EU are getting equipped with bodycams. Recently the State Police of Niedersachsen in Germany, the Police of Mechelen in Belgium and the Police in the Czech Republic have signed contracts for the supply of bodycams by Dutch company Zepcam.
Body worn video (BWV) and body-worn camera’s (BWC) improve the safety of law enforcement officers, increase transparency and supply video-evidence for criminal investigation purposes.
Surveys in het US, where bodycams are used for years now, show that they de-escalate aggression or have a civilizing effect on police-citizen encounters, thus reducing complaints.
Also police forces want to use bodycams as a countermeasure against the public shooting more and more videos of incidents on their smartphones. Unlike public video’s, footages captured by law enforcement can be admissible in court.
Zepcam already supplies bodycams to police forces in 15 countries like Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and The Netherlands. The Dutch company is the leading supplier in Europe, with clients in over 40 countries. It both manufactures and supplies the camera systems and the IT structure which automatically stores and processes the captured footages.
The State Police of German State Niedersachsen has ordered 500 bodycams in a 4 year contract. Zepcam has won this tender because its cameras and software platform made the best match with requirements of field users and the central IT department.
The region of Mechelen is the first police zone in Belgium to deploy bodycams on a large scale. Zepcam was selected after a test period with 7 different bodycam suppliers.
The Czech Police in the Central Bohemian Region, purchased over Zepcam bodycams for law enforcement purposes. Also the company will assist the police force to expand and integrate the new video management software in the management software that is used in over 80 locations in the Czech Republic.
Zepcam has seen and enormous increase in the use of bodycams by law enforcement in the past five years. According to the company, the cameras help reduce aggression and allow for better transparency. For instance because situations tend to de-escalate when people know they are recorded.