Increasing use of Body-Worn Cameras by UK Councils
According to a new report over half of UK Councils have tried or are using body worn cameras. With the majority being used by civil enforcement officers dealing with parking or environmental offences.
Concerns about use
The report raises concerns that the widespread filming is not proportional to the offences. It is easy to criticise the growing use of body worn video, but the simple fact is that the cameras have proved to be successful by police forces and security companies, and their use is rapidly spreading across many other organisations.
When body-worn cameras are being used they don’t need to be continually recording. Indeed to do so would be counter-productive and generate so much unnecessary data that it would be a nightmare to store and review.
Benefits of use
The purpose of using bodycams is to provide the officer using them with a back-up and an independent witness, especially when they are working alone. Council Officers who perform these roles can often be at the receiving end of aggressive and abusive comments from members of the public, and there have been occasions where they’ve been physically attacked.
Simply informing someone that the camera is there and will be used if necessary, can be an effective way to calm a situation and encourage them to moderate their behaviour and language.
After bodycams were trialled by police forces it was claimed that in addition to moderating people’s behaviour, using the cameras “helps us, the police, to be at the top of our game” (Assistant Chief Constable, Simon Megicks, from Hertfordshire Police, BBC News). This also applies to Council Officers; when they are recording an interaction their conduct is also being monitored.
Free Trial offer…
If you’re looking to try out a body-worn camera to see how it can benefit your organisation, contact us today and ask about a free trial.