June 5, 2023


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Body-worn cameras

Addressing workplace violence in healthcare, retail and private security with bodycams

Bodycams are increasingly being deployed in various environments to help tackle the growing problem of workplace violence. Chris Price reports from a presentation at IFSEC in May.

According to Connor Chatterton, Axon Enterprises Account Executive, security incidents in retail are at an all-time high.


Connor Chatterton, Axon Enterprises, speaking at IFSEC 2023

In a slide shown to those attending his talk on ‘addressing workplace violence in healthcare, retail and private security’ at IFSEC in May, 87% of organisations reported a violent incident in 2021, while 76% reported an assault of an associate.

So, what can be done to help reduce these incidents?

While currently CCTV is the most popular option for security in the retail environment, Chatterton believes that body worn cameras will become much more prevalent in the future. This isn’t simply a case of buying a bodycam off the shelf though, he explained.

“Retail security is very complex with many challenges, including integrations with RFID and CCTV, as well as considerations around privacy.”

Automatic uploads to a dedicated portal

Founded as a company providing tasers in 1993, Axon has expanded into in-car cameras (Axon Fleet), drones and body worn cameras – or bodycams.

During his talk, Chatterton passed around a mock up version of the company’s latest bodycam, Axon Body 3, a model that can be attached to a shirt and which also features a built-in lanyard for identification purposes.

“The camera is very lightweight – I can barely feel I’m wearing it,” he noted.

Further reading: The pros and cons of body-worn cameras: Do they help or hinder de-escalation strategies?

Providing 12 to 14 hours of use from a single three to five hour charge, the Axon Body 3 automatically uploads 720/1080 resolution footage to Axon’s digital evidence management portal,, from either a 4G/LTE or WiFi connection.

Here it’s possible to set the device’s preferences such as determining who has authorisation to view the footage as well as the ability to send the footage to law enforcement agencies.

IFSEC-AxonBodyWornCamera-23Auto transcription is built in as standard, though facial recognition – while technically possible – is not currently provided and faces are redacted from footage.

“Right now our ethics board has pushed back on facial recognition and that will probably be the case for some time with us being a US company,” though Chatterton didn’t rule out its future use.

“There are plenty of companies at the show this week who we may partner with who are already offering this technology,” he added.

Bodycam usage growing in the UK

While bodycams are still more widespread in the US, their prevalence is steadily growing in the UK. According to Chatterton, supermarket chain Asda has been deploying body worn cameras for six years, while rival chain Sainsbury’s is now also said to be in the market.

It is also working with Adrian Beck, Emeritus Professor at the University of Leicester who is an expert on retail loss and loss prevention.

Nor is it just the retail environment that Axon is targeting with its range of bodycams – the healthcare sector too, is witnessing investment.

“We are also working with the NHS, where we’ve provided 100 free cameras to get further feedback.”


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