Derbyshire tip workers to be given bodycams after rise in verbal and physical attacks

Verbal and physical abuse at recycling centres
Verbal and physical abuse at recycling centres

Tip workers in Derbyshire are set to be equipped with bodycams in an effort to combat threatening and abusive behaviour.

The nine household waste and recycling tips in the county have seen an average of 313 incidents – ranging from verbal to physical abuse – each year for the past two years.

This breaks down as an average of 26 incidents at the nine sites, every month.

The county council has been working closely with its contractor for waste disposal, Resource Recovery Solutions Ltd (RRS), to quash the issue.

And it is now planning to introduce bodycams after a trial found incidents of threating and abusive behaviour dropped by 66 per cent.

A decision on the proposal will be made at a meeting led by the cabinet member for highways, Councillor Simon Spencer, on Wednesday, September 19.

A report for the meeting states: “Unfortunately incidents are still occurring and the frequency remains a cause for concern.”

A trial for the proposal was carried out in March at the Taylor Lane tip in Loscoe.

During the trial, incidents of threatening and abusive behaviour dropped by 66 per cent.

Managers and duty managers on the site stated that they “initially felt apprehensive using the cameras, however they quickly got used to wearing and using the equipment and felt comfortable. All site employees felt more confident when they were approaching people to help, and to enforce the council’s policies”.

Workers in the council’s parking enforcement team have also been supportive of the plan and are experiencing similar issues.

The Waterswallows tip in Buxton would not be part of this rotation, because it is managed by SUEZ.

SUEZ will be introducing its own body-worn cameras which would require another proposal to the council.

The cameras record continuously on a three-second loop, continually re-recording over footage unless the record switch is activated.

Footage is only recorded during a potential incident and all data would be deleted after 30 days unless it is required as evidence.

The nine tips in Derbyshire are in Ashbourne; Bolsover; Bretby; Chesterfield; Glossop; Ilkeston; Loscoe; Northwood (Darley Dale); and Waterswallows (Buxton).