Go to contents

Seoul City officials to wear 'body cams'

Posted June. 06, 2023 08:07,   

Updated June. 06, 2023 08:07


Public officials in Seoul have been permitted to wear 'body cams' while on duty as a measure to protect themselves from abusive complainants.

Seoul City announced Monday that it would implement 'Operating Guidelines for Portable Protection Equipment for Officials Handling Complaints', a regulation allowing the use of recording devices by these officials. In April this year, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety amended the Enforcement Decree of the Civil Petition Treatment Act to permit recording devices. However, the actual usage and operation guidelines were left to be established by local governments.

The decision to establish the body cam regulations by the Ministry and Seoul City was based on an assessment that the behavior of some 'malicious complainants' had crossed the line. In fact, last June in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, an incident occurred in which a drunken complainant threatened public officials with a sledgehammer and hurled verbal abuse at them at the Sinwol-dong community center. In November 2021, a complainant even choked an employee at the Sinjeong-dong community center.

With the establishment of the manual, complainant handling officials in Seoul City can now wear recording devices such as body cams while on duty. According to the guidelines, if the complainant is verbally abusive, threatening, or sexually harassing, or if there's a possibility of physical assault or property damage, the officials can use the equipment. However, the complainant must be notified before the recording starts and ends. If the situation is urgent, the recording can be started first, and the reason can be recorded when registering the data later.

The autonomous districts must have systems and equipment for storing and managing the recorded video and audio data. The data can be stored for 15 days and should be deleted immediately if it is decided not to take legal action against the complainant. The body cams are expected to be supplied in stages as early as the middle of this month.