The next-generation body-worn cameras transforming policing and security

Richie McBride

Managing director, Edesix

Author Bio ▼

Richie McBride is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Richie is the Managing Director and co-founder of Edesix Ltd. which has grown to become a market leader in the provision of Body Worn Camera solutions. Edesix, which is based in Edinburgh, UK, provides its solutions to those in public facing roles, such as police, security personnel, emergency services workers and the transport industry.
June 24, 2019

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In recent years we have seen a transformation in policing and security.

Technology-driven solutions have created ‘connected’ officers: they can stream video, access information and collaborate in real-time in order to operate safely and more efficiently in the field.

Police officers have always been connected to some degree, either to the public and communities they serve, or with colleagues on the street and in the control room. They have shared information and generated insights to help address common problems or protect those with common vulnerabilities.

However, digital technology has now enhanced these connections, making officers feel more empowered, supported and secure.

The use of Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) is revolutionising policing and security around the globe, and the launch of our new VB-400 is going to take this protection to the next level. BWCs are now built for a connected world and are being used by officers on the front line to help prevent both criminal and antisocial behaviour when out on patrol.

Additionally, the captured footage not only provides greater transparency of interactions with the public, but also significantly increases early guilty pleas when used in a prosecution.

Compelling legal evidence

Body-worn cameras have been proven to improve the safety of those in public-facing roles, while producing compelling legal evidence when needed.

BWCs can provide two-fold protection for staff. Firstly, members of the public naturally change and moderate their behaviour for the better when they realise they are, or may be, being recorded. But importantly those cameras can then be used, when needed, to alert colleagues to an incident, to obtain evidential quality footage to secure convictions, or to uphold the account of staff in the event of a complaint or incident.

BWCs like our new VB-400 offer hands-free activation, so incidents can be recorded when weapons are drawn or a car door is opened

In recent years developments in BWCs have been extensive, ranging from HD recording capabilities to dual band live WI-Fi streaming of incidents, allowing for faster decision making. With the launch of the new VB-400 this has moved on again, with BWCs now having hands-free activation meaning incidents can be recorded – for example when weapons are drawn or when a car door is opened.

Easy device location, when integrated with Tactical VideoManager, also means that management of BWCs across large fleets is now greatly simplified. The new GPS capabilities is particularly important for policing, as it enables Dispatch to monitor live situations with the help of real-time footage, and if then the situation escalates it can make an informed decision, for example to call for back-up.

A key for the connected officer is to never get distracted by the new technology. They are often confronted with highly stressful situations and must stay focused throughout.

The right information, delivered at the right time, in the right way can change the result.

Therefore, in order to deliver the benefits, a BWC system must be simple to deploy, simple to manage and simple to use. The wearable camera is a tool for the user to protect themselves – but it isn’t the focus of their job, nor should it be.

In addition, the back-office management suite must be secure and able to deliver evidential quality footage.

 

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