DVA enforcement officers begin to use body worn video cameras
DRIVER and Vehicle Agency (DVA) enforcement officers today began to use body-worn video cameras in a bid to protect staff and "aid prosecutions".
The DVA said it hoped the move would "reduce unacceptable behaviour experienced by staff".
The organisation said studies have shown that body worn video cameras have a "significant impact in reducing instances of abuse and aggression and that people are less likely to contest evidence in a case when they know their alleged offending has been captured on camera".
The cameras can be activated in situations where the use of the device may help moderate behaviour, avert confrontation or secure evidence of offending.
Staff have received training on how to use the cameras and the supporting technology.
Among the duties carried out by DVA enforcement officers are ensuring motorists comply with driving rules, making sure vehicles are within legal weight limits and that they are road worthy.
They also carry out investigations into suspected illegal use of vehicles and ensure drivers have the correct tax and motor insurance.
DVA chief executive Paul Duffy said: "Our enforcement officers play an important role in protecting the public from the use of unroadworthy vehicles and unlicensed drivers on our roads.
"DVA has a responsibility for the health and welfare of its staff and their safety is our priority.
"At times our staff are subjected to unacceptable behaviour and the deployment of body worn video cameras will help deter such behaviour and ensure that disputes can be addressed quickly and fairly."