Body worn cameras on the increase

Edinburgh, UK

Body worn cameras are a necessity for local authorities across the UK as transparency, safety of staff & greater accountability become more important for UK councils, as well as the communities they serve.

This is according to Edesix, a UK manufacturer of body worn camera solutions for those in public facing roles. The company says this is also backed up by a recent study that found 54% of all local UK authorities now equip members of staff or contractors with BWCs. This represents a substantial increase and step forward since Renfrewshire Council became the first local authority in the UK to record publicly the adoption and use of BWCs back in 2009.

Unison, the largest trade union in the UK, further reinforces the need for such devices by stating that the introduction of body worn cameras for its members working in public-facing roles for local UK authorities is necessary to stop the abuse they face as figures showed verbal and physical assaults on staff are growing.

The usage applications of BWCs has expanded across multiple departments within local authorities. Civil Enforcement Officers, Traffic Wardens and Environmental Health teams are just some of the departments now using BWCs and more recently, some councils have issued BWCs to Dog Wardens, Health and Safety Officers and Crossing Patrol Supervisors, further proving the versatility of the technology to improve transparency, safety of staff and provide greater accountability.

The key benefits of using BWCs include protection of staff and members of the public, discouraging aggression, deter anti-social behaviour, and identification of offenders, as well as uses for training purposes, analysis and compliance procedures.

Over the past few years, Edesix has been working with a growing number of local authorities in the UK, providing BWCs that are proven to dissuade antisocial behaviour from members of the public and deter aggression towards staff. Footage obtained from notable incidents are not only used to secure convictions, but can also be used for training and discerning best practice for users. Edesix’s Videobadge and Videotag Body Worn Cameras are lightweight, unobtrusive and can be easily fitted to any uniform, vital features that make the daily jobs of those using it much simpler.

The London Borough of Bromley reported a significant reduction in the number of incidents since they introduced Edesix’s solution.

Ben Stephens, Parking Manager of London Borough of Bromley said: “Videobadge has helped us to develop a robust, efficient process for dealing with PCN challenges and drive up our standards of communication. This saves us valuable time and money when budgets are tight and local authorities are being urged to do more for less.”

In addition, the presence of the camera also helps to reduce the number of false allegations against enforcement officers and instances of aggression and violence, helping those doing a difficult job feel safer and more protected, particularly when working alone. Claremont Council stated that, once informed of the Edesix cameras by officers, people’s attitude changed dramatically for the better.


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