Using Body Cameras

17 October 2018

H&S safety wording
The UK has 20% of the world’s CCTV cameras and city dwellers can be captured on camera up to 300 times a day.

Use of body cameras has also substantially increased, especially for loneworkers.  There are a number of factors affecting the decision to use these or not by organisations with cost being the biggest consideration.

Employers should consider the significant of the outlay against the potential benefits:-

Improving Worker Safety
Body cameras were initially introduced to police forces throughout the UK and over time more and more sectors are adopting use to promote staff safety and security at work.

Research shows that when people know they are being recorded, cameras prove to be a preventative treatment measure with modified behaviours.  This helps to create a safer working environment.

Loneworkers can be vulnerable to harassment and attack, the added level of protection body cameras provide can make loneworkers feel safer when loneworking is necessary.

Evidence and Transparency
Without video footage of an incident, there can be misrepresentation of the truth by all parties involved having their own perspective on what happened.  Body cameras record the full interaction and negate the chance of the wrong conclusions being drawn.

Should an assault occur, cameras can provide clear evidence resulting in convictions.  For loneworkers in an area which doesn’t have any CCTV, body cameras offer a reassurance that should an incident happen, it’s not just word against word.

Faster Justice
Trials in the UK can take months or even years to conclude.  When a case includes body camera footage, there is a dramatic decrease in the length of time the process can take.  A UK study showed criminals are more likely to plead guilty to crimes which have been recorded because the evidence is irrefutable.  A review in 2014 showed early guilty pleas in 91% of cases where body camera footage was submitted as evidence.  

For employers, this means staff are not tied up in long running trials and any compensation or insurance claims can be addressed and resolved more quickly.