Firefighters now carry cameras to defend themselves

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A trend of attacks on firefighters has prompted fire teams to carry cameras when they are called out.

Since the beginning of 2020, the firefighters of the Pyrénées-Orientales have been equipped with 12 pedestrian cameras in Perpignan and Rivesaltes.

The scheme aims to capture the evidence of the numerous assaults they have suffered in interventions over the past 10 years.   Since 2018, no less than 23 complaints have been filed for attacks on firefighters.

In one month, the results are already positive, with a marked improvement in behaviour, as warrant officer Jérôme Taulet, from the northern barracks in Perpignan explained:

“The camera is extremely dissuasive, it is its greatest power according to initial feedback.  We’ve seen a change in agitated people, it calms them down.”

The CGT union are not happy about the situation.  “What we disagree with is that we are now front line to the problem, instead of the police getting involved.  They should be intervening first, not us!” said a union spokesperson from the northern barracks at Perpignan.

The recorded images will be kept for 6 months. They will allow possible legal proceedings against the attackers.

Source: France 3