There are an increasing number of body cameras being worn by security industry personnel, such as police officers, security offers and council workers, but what is fuelling this trend?
According to the Suffolk Police Constabulary, it’s a way of improving the trust between people in authority and the general public. Cameras are a useful aid when officers are put in challenging and often dangerous positions, and they offer greater transparency. Evidence is key to a quick prosecution in many cases, therefore wearing a body worn camera can be extremely positive to everyone involved.
How do the Cameras Work?
There are quite a few different cameras being worn today, however they all work by facing forward, normally from the shoulder area. They will have various controls such as record, playback and pause as well as being able to video and record. Evidence is then uploaded via a docking system to a central server.
Are They Always on?
This is currently a question that is being debated. Whilst some would like to see the cameras always on, others question their motive and whether being continually on is an invasion of public privacy. Not only that, but caution must be exercised when interviewing those under age or informants. The other issue is that if cameras are always on, then cost is an implication, particularly when it comes to uploading data to the storage servers.
How Long are Records Kept?
Privacy is still the biggest priority, therefore records are kept for the shortest time possible rather than being retained for months or even years. However, video footage will need to be retained long enough to bring evidence to a prosecution.
What are the Key Features?
There are several types of body cameras available and Pinnacle Response have been at the forefront of development for several years. If you look at http://www.pinnacleresponse.com/body-cameras-and-the-law/ you will find that, depending on the model, recording time can range between 5-8 hours. All the screens are HD but there are two different sizes, and all are water resistant up to 3 metres. Battery life is another differentiating feature which can vary between 12 months to 180 hours on standby.
Can the Public Refuse to be Filmed?
The answer is no! The public can ask and the police can consider, but they have no right to not being filmed.