Firefighters to trial bodyworn cameras after rise in arson attacks and violent behaviour

Crews of firefighters are to put bodyworn cameras to the test after a rise in attacks and arson incidents.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 4:29 pm

The pilot scheme will see County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s teams based at fire stations in Peterlee and Wheatley Hill use the kit.

The service says the bodyworn cameras will record video and audio at incidents and it is hoped they will not only improve the safety of crews, but the cameras will also help in a host of other ways.

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Firefighters in East Durham will be among those to wear bodycams as County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service carries out a trial of the kit. Image copyright Graham Mitchell Photography.

These include offering a safe and secure environment at operational incidents and protect the communities they cover as well as provide evidence against those who choose to threaten and are abusive to operational firefighters.

It comes after crews in East Durham have seen a rise in the level of deliberate fires in recent months.

Emergency Response Area Manager, Steve Wharton, said: “Unfortunately fire and rescue services have seen a rise in antisocial behaviour, deliberate fire setting and in extreme cases even violence towards fire crews when they attend incidents which is totally unacceptable.

“We as a service are committed to a zero-tolerance approach to attacks on our firefighters and protecting the safety of our crews.

"The trial is in conjunction with the Fire Brigades Union and is due to take place until November 15.

"It is hoped that the trial of these body worn cameras will safeguard our firefighters and help the public of County Durham and Darlington feel safer."

The trial is underway and includes the service’s crews in Darlington.

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