Preventing Face-to-face confrontations: BWC
Every day, innovations emerge to help people with their day-to-day struggles. Body-worn cameras are one of the new trends in the law enforcement and security community. Wearable body cams have been gaining popularity because several studies and high profile cases proved that they work very well in diffusing a dangerous altercation and gathering evidence. Entertainment establishments, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies experience problems with their customers and the community every day. Face to face confrontations are common between the police officers and security personnel. In such situations, it is hard to discern if the use of force was justified or not. That is why advanced recording devices like body-worn cameras are excellent to prevent further escalating the situation.
That is not all body worn cameras have to offer though; from providing evidence for criminal cases to improving the safety of employees, these small yet effective devices help companies and police forces adopt the best technology in order to protect their workforce, security staff, and of course, the public.
From the perspective of the community, body-worn cameras increase the accountability and transparency of the police officers and security guards. Employee behaviour and officer demeanour visibly improve with the simple addition of a body-worn camera to their equipment. The same goes for members of the community; the complaints and offensive behaviour against police and security personnel reduce drastically in environments where a body is worn cam is present.
In 2015, a study led by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology showed that the use of body-worn cameras by police officers resulted in reducing the complaints against law enforcement by a shocking 93%. The experiment included 40 police stations including UK and US law enforcement agencies over a span of 12 months. After over 1.4m officer work hours that covered a population of 2 million citizens, the findings indicated that body-worn cameras modify human behaviour and the sudden awareness when people realize that they are being recorded significantly improves both officer compliance and suspect behaviour. Essentially, the digital camera encourages people to act more appropriately. “Cooling down potentially volatile police-public interactions to the point where official grievances against the police have virtually vanished may well lead to the conclusion that the use of body-worn cameras represents a turning point in policing,” said Cambridge criminologist and lead author Dr. Barak Ariel.
The security industry is not the only sector benefiting from the advantages of body-worn cameras. There are almost 8 millions of lone workers in the UK alone. Lone workers who perform maintenance and repairs in residential areas are more likely to be involved in incidents due to angry and unsatisfied customers. As many as 150 lone workers are assaulted verbally or physically on the job due to their line of work. One of the main reasons why employers integrate body cams into the daily attire of a lone worker is the increasing aggression and attacks against them. Body-worn video recorders are becoming an integral part of the lone worker industry across the globe with the purpose of protecting the security, and field employees. Lone workers don’t have the training and the equipment security personnel have, that is why every additional safety measure will help them perform their job better and increase productivity.
Employers and government officials may have been sceptical about the effectiveness of body-worn cameras at first, but after the studies and experiments provided concrete evidence that body-worn video recorders indeed work flawlessly, the implementation of body-cams to police stations, security personnel and lone workers have accelerated.
With a rugged design and sophisticated features, body-worn cameras are ideal to be used in any physical conflict. Most of the body cams offer pre-event video recording; the device captures the event 30 seconds before you press the record button which allows the security personnel to focus on the task at hand. With docks and clips, the POV of the camera can be adjusted with ease. Night vision and a large field of view – 140 degrees – help capture the footage of event even in the dark when the altercations usually happen. The security guards or police officers can start recording in HD quality audio and video with the push of a single button making it easier to activate in emergency situations.
Body worn video recorders are the pinnacle of recording technology and an innovative security solution when you consider the size of the device. Despite their size, body cams have extremely high-quality audio and video recording capabilities, and they can store up to 8 hours of footage that can be used to identify people that are involved in the incidents. Whether it is a bodyguard beating up a customer or a police officer using force against a criminal, you will have irrefutable proof as evidence of a crime or if the use of force was justified. This saves companies and police departments massive amounts of money in settlements and increases conviction rates for police officers.
There is a reason why multiple studies proved that body-worn cameras are extremely effective in preventing confrontations and act as a deterrent against aggressive people. In most cases, the number of altercations dropped over 90% in areas where officers started using body-worn video recorders when responding to an emergency call. Resolving incidents quicker and preventing them from escalating will also make the workforce more efficient, providing a better service to customers. Most members of the community immediately change their behaviour once they realize their actions are being filmed and step away from the argument. According to the statements of security personnel, a body worn camera is better than having a backup colleague, people can lie but having the HD footage of an event is like having an unbiased witness who speaks the truth and nothing but the truth on your behalf.
Rewire Security’s Body Camera solutions are used by Twickenham Rugby Team as a security measure at the rugby stadium. Twickenham is the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world, seating an impressive 82.000 spectators.