CCTV cameras have been installed on major thoroughfares in Hamburg before the annual New Year’s Eve celebrations, including on the city’s famous Reeperbahn Street.
Police Commissioner Ralf Martin Meyer commented on the new cameras, saying: “Video surveillance in these locations will help deter potential perpetrators from committing crimes,” Last year, Hamburg saw around 400 women and girls report that they had been sexually assaulted over New Year’s Eve, and police were criticised for the fact that, despite having a large presence, many attackers were never identified.
Many of the ‘pros’ of the use of body worn cameras relate to all crime victims as those positive aspects are universal.
However, we’d like to introduce the ‘cons’ of their use as they specifically relate to sexual assault victims and better highlight the unique nature of these cases.
Conduct evaluations and periodic reviews to analyze whether the use of the body cams creates a chilling effect on crime victims; i. Consider a victim’s objection when deciding whether to use the recording in court; and ii.
Consider whether the recording should be turned over to the defense. Provide victims with the legal right to prevent the recording or parts of the recording from appearing on the news and any civil legal recourse available when the media violates the victim’s rights and reveals his/her identity; k.
Since the massive number of sex attacks that occurred in Cologne on New Year’s Eve in 2015, police have had to substantially increase security in many major German cities.
Expressly prohibit agency personnel from accessing recorded data and from uploading such data onto public websites and measures to prevent unauthorized access or release of said data; g.
Create protocols for releasing recorded data externally to the public and news media that must be in compliance with state law as amended; h.
Failure of law enforcement to follow up with questions on evidence leads in victim statements, failure to properly and fully take witness statements and child witness statements and failure to properly interview witnesses; e.
Law enforcement withholding critical law enforcement powers, failure to provide victim protections, failure to write reports etc.; 4) Better prosecutions, higher conviction rates, fewer trials and more pleas; 5) Better investigatory techniques; 6) Fewer recanting victims and fewer charges against those who do recant; 7) Determination of primary physical aggressor; 8) More tools for a prosecutor; 9) Eliminating the reliance on memory to recount incident months down the line in a courtroom; 10) Use of such recording in lieu of victim so long as it does not invoke Crawford concerns.