Helping staff feel safe: Body-worn cameras offer protection

Advanced solutions can be linked with CCTV system

retail and hospitality Body Worn Cameraretail and hospitality Body Worn Camera

Security staff and other staff in public-facing roles, whether in retail, hospitality, healthcare or public transport settings sometimes find themselves in challenging situations, such as being at risk of physical or verbal assault, where they may not feel safe.

Indeed, the latest UK retail crime survey published in March covering the period between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019, found that there were 424 violent or abusive incidents every day of the year. This was an increase of around 9% when compared with the 2017/18 figures of just under 142,000, or 388 per day.

Meanwhile, as noted in previous blogs, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in its guidance on reducing work-related violence and crime within shops, bars and restaurants, has said that CCTV can help reduce the risk of incidents by:

  • helping staff and customers feel safer;
  • acting as a deterrent to offenders;
  • helping you to direct staff or security to where they’re needed;
  • enabling you to collect evidence to help find and convict offenders

If staff continue to feel vulnerable Motorola Solutions have developed body-worn cameras, which can integrate with CCTV systems to provide additional video footage as well as being a device to alert other staff of an incident. Ecl-ips is now able to sell the body-worn cameras and can demonstrate how they can be integrated with the Avigilon Control Center video management software.

The lightweight Motorola Solutions VT100 body-worn camera is a small, unobtrusive device specifically designed for customer-facing teams and the company said the camera has proven to deter public aggression towards workers while capturing evidential footage when necessary. In addition to recording interactions, the cameras provide an added sense of security to those wearing them, knowing that help is at hand with the push of a button. In order to provide reassurance customers the front tag can include your logo and brand colours to make the VT100 an integral part of your staff uniform.

By using these devices businesses and public sector organisations are protecting the health and safety of their staff and making them feel safer in their role. Motorola Solutions said that staff in public-facing roles who don’t feel safe at work are more likely to leave the company or take insurance and legal claims against the employer when a safety incident occurs. Therefore body-worn cameras are a positive way to show that as an employer you do care about supporting them and can take action if they are actually abused or threatened.

Currently staff may feel particularly vulnerable while there continue to be laws and restrictions aimed at reducing the transmission of COVID-19. These could be roles where they are being asked to enforce rules on the wearing of face-coverings or on social distancing. If there is any resistance to following rules, by members of the public, and an incident occurs, the employee can verbally notify the aggressor of the fact they are wearing a body-worn camera, which it is found can de-escalate the situation right away.

However, in cases where the abuse continues, the VT100 can be activated by the employee simply with a one-push press on the device. This initiates recording, and when used in combination with the employer’s normal CCTV system, can prompt an alarm and live video stream to the control room, alerting security staff to the incident, and allowing immediate assessment of the situation. The cameras are also intuitive to use, requiring minimal operational training for employees.

If you believe your staff need additional support to feel safe at work Ecl-ips can demonstrate how the VT100 body-worn cameras could help and how they can be integrated with your CCTV system. For more information contact us.