Cambridgeshire

Body cameras issued to Cambridgeshire road workers

body cam
Image caption Body cams are routinely used by police officers to provide evidence of behaviour

A construction firm is to issue highways maintenance workers with body cameras in a bid to protect staff from aggressive motorists.

Skanska, which maintains roads for Cambridgeshire County Council, will hand out the devices to staff in the county shortly.

A spokesman said the move was in response to "several instances where physical violence has taken place".

He said the policy would eventually be rolled out to staff across the country.

The plan was discussed at the council's highways and infrastructure committee, attended by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Construction firm Skanska is to issue body cams to staff - starting in Cambridgeshire

Skanska's business director, John Birkenhead, said: "On a regular basis members of our workforce are verbally abused by members of the public and that's an industry-wide recognised problem.

"We have had incidents in Cambridgeshire which have made us decide to provide body-worn cameras to our employees.

"It seems to be an indictment on the society that we live in at the moment that everyone is in a rush."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Skanska say highways staff have been verbally and physically attacked by irate motorists

Mr Birkenhead told the committee the cameras would be delivered in the next week and staff would be encouraged to wear them.

CCTV signs will be put out to inform the public there are cameras in the area.

Skanska is also contracted by Highways England to deliver the £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme.

Mr Birkenhead said confrontation can be caused by something "as simple as people being held up by traffic lights".

He described how items are thrown at workers out of the windows of vehicles as they pass by.

"The closures are only there for health and safety reasons to protect our workforce and members of the public," he said.

"Members of the public can get a little irate and sometimes aggressive."

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