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A complete guide to Body Cameras in the UK

A complete guide to Body Cameras in the UK

What is a body Camera?

A body camera or body cam is a portable surveillance unit typically used by blue light services to document and observe daily routine. However, body cameras are also used for many other professions such as; Retail work, private security, construction surveys, personal protection and many more.

Whilst body cameras can also be used for leisure, common features such as video encryption, time and date stamping and password protection allow these cameras to excel in areas of protection and evidence rather than leisure activities.

Body Cameras for Different Professions

Body Cameras for Retail

On-Floor Staff / Door Guards / Cashiers

Recommended Camera: Boblov WA7-D

Due to recent data released from the British Retail Consortium, retail workers have received an increase in both verbal and physical assault. Statistics go as far as to show that 445 verbal or physical assaults towards retail staff occur every day, and 83% of all retail workers have experienced verbal abuse at work.

Body cameras help to reduce this number in places of retail work, as many body camera models clip directly onto the front of uniforms and can be used as a repellent to deter potential assaults.

Here at BodyCamera, we also offer a range of cameras with a front facing screens, so offenders can see themselves being filmed to reduce the risk of verbal or physical assault further.

For use within retail, we recommend a model compatible with a large docking station for simultaneous data transfer and charging when staff are constantly clocking in and out. With more than 9 hours in Full HD also, the Boblov WA7-D can be activated discreetly via a key fob if the floor staff member feels uncomfortable stating that the offender is being recorded. Utilizing the night vision functionality on this model, it is also ideal for wearing when closing or opening a shop when it is dark outside as the WA7-D can see up to 8 metres in dark conditions.

Body Cameras for Security and Local Authorities

Private Security / Door Staff / Civil Enforcement Officers

Recommended Camera: Hytera Range

In a recent study, statistics have shown that 84% of Civil Enforcement Officers have suffered verbal abuse every month, with around 54% of local authorities encountering difficulties retaining staff due to challenging conditions.

With an average of 20,000 assaults on police officers in the UK each year and just over half these being with injury, the immediate deployment of body cameras for all police units is becoming much more common. The ability to record and deter potential threats is helping to greatly reduce the threat of assault.

Body cameras are an excellent solution to this problem as many of our solutions come equipped with audio queues and warning lights to deter offenders, and most of our range also come equipped with powerful Infra-red (IR) lights for even better facial recognition in dark or night settings.

For security and blue light services in particular, we recommend our high-end range of body cameras supplied by Hytera which can be found by clicking here this is thanks to their end to end 256-Bit AES encryption which help to keep all video files safe if stolen or hacked. This model also comes equipped with live GPS tagging and 4G streaming to keep up to date with current events even if you aren't with the body camera.

Body cameras for construction

Builders / Site Surveyor / Project Managers

Recommended Camera: Hytera VM780

When working on a construction site, there is a one in ten chance of injury each year. This is higher than other industries by 71% and is why body cameras are an essential transition that needs to take place to document the safety of each worker in this field.

With the majority of our range providing a wide 140-degree camera angle and average of 1.5 meter drop range, this makes the body camera the perfect companion to monitor any and all close calls within this line of work.

Ensuring that employees feel safe at work should be amongst, if not the companies main priority. In busy city centres and inner-city locations, some frontline workers are often exposed to a, shall we say, less than desirable crowd. Places like bus stations, train stations and car parks attract large amounts of people and can become a hotbed for criminal or anti-social activity.

Road workers are often in considerable danger at work, especially when construction and maintenance is carried out on motorways, 'A' roads and active dual carriageways. Many construction and maintenance companies have started to implement body cameras to aid in capturing evidence of dangerous practises and inconsiderate driving. 

Equipping workers with body cameras acts as a strong visual signifier that CCTV recording is in action. The fact that would-be offenders can see the cameras (and with many devices, the front-facing screen) is often enough to deter individuals from acting outside of the law. 

In the event that workers are required to capture footage of incidents, high-quality evidence can be submitted securely. Offenders can be easily identified and held accountable, with all evidence managed appropriately and in accordance with data protection guidelines using secure body-worn recording devices and intuitive management solutions. This not only helps in demonstrating to personnel that employee wellbeing is being carefully considered but can also aid in stamping out issues at the source. 

When it comes to working in construction, the Hytera VM780 makes an excellent companion for recording your daily routine. A robust finish and a drop height of up to 2 metres, this prodcut can withstand the harsh conditions whilst recording in 1080p HD for up to 9 hours.

Body cameras for personal protection

Dog Walkers / Runners

Recommended Camera: Standalone Range

Personal protection is important for the peace of mind of some individuals, and knowing that they have a mechanism to fall back on when out and about to deter potential threats can help to alleviate stress.

Body cameras can legally be used in public spaces in the UK with no further implications. Not only does this deter/prevent attacks, but it can also capture the identity of the attacker, which can be used against them.

The majority of body cameras we sell are equipped with full HD recording capability and can constantly record for roughly 5-8 hours at 1080p. Night vision is also an added extra for many of our cameras so that you can walk your dog at night with no added stress.

What to consider when purchasing a Body Camera for personal use

Recommended Camera: Standalone Range

Durability: Many Body Cameras are built to withstand the elements and are dust and windproof. Is there a chance that your device will need to be used outside in the rain, or may be dropped in the puddle? If this is the case, then you may want to consider a device with either an IP67 or IP68 rating to ensure that your device will work reliably in these conditions. 

Storage capacity: How much footage are you looking to collect? Whilst some users opt for a body camera as a durable alternative to something like a GoPro, you may find that 'less is more' when it comes to using a body camera for personal protection, which in turn means that less storage capacity is required. Best practise is to only record events as and when they occur; not to record the entire dog walk for example. There are Body Cameras available that offer expandable storage with an external SD card, whilst others offer internal memory only. 

Night vision: Are you using the device in low light/night time conditions? Then you would more than likely require a device that uses infrared LEDs to record footage in these conditions. 

Ease-of-use: Most devices offer a 'one-push' operation for starting and stopping recording. Others offer a wide range of features, and even a touch-screen operating system - which is ideal for some situations but not others. These devices are amongst the simplest to use and ideal Body Cameras for personal use.

Security: Do you need to protect your footage? In most cases when using a body camera for personal use, this is not often necessary. Many entry-level devices do not offer a layer of security, which makes file transfer to a PC simple and striaght forward. Other devices, designed to be used in more professional environments, offer device PIN protection and full 256-bit AES encryption for complete data security. 

For personal use, we recommend a standalone style body camera. These body cameras are thoroughly trialed and tested by our team at Bodycamera and they make for excellent deterrants against threats. Follow the link here to compare some standalone style body cameras to find the one that suits your needs best.

Cameras for driving

Parcel delivery / Food Delivery

Recommended Camera: Spikecam S4 WiFi & GPS Enabled Body Camera

 Each year in the UK, there is a 28% chance that you will be in a car collision. Whether it is a serious crash or a bumper dent, having a camera installed in your car could greatly help to increase your chances of claiming compensation if it was not your fault.

Not only do body cameras have a wide angle lens to help capture even more of the surrounding area, but they can also record in full HD for long periods of time to make sure you capture every second of your journey in crystal clear quality.

With some of the body cameras we offer in our range, Infra-red lighting is utilized to ensure journeys at night are also covered.

When driving, we recommend the Spikecam S4 WiFi & GPS Enabled Body Camera. This compact camera runs at 30fps which will play back smoothly and even capture fast motion for higher speed impacts. Streaming at 1296 full HD video resolution, the Spikecam also utilizes Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity to provide accurate location tracking and video streaming.

 

Where can I use a body camera?

Currently, in the UK, there are no laws regarding the use of body cameras in a public space, however if you wish to record on private property you must have consent from the property owner.

Why Use a Body Camera

Still not sure if you should buy a body camera? Here are five reasons why we think that they are an essential purchase.

- Body Worn Cameras Provide Accurate & Reliable Evidence

High definition video and audio recordings of any incident make it clearer to see what happened, when, where and who was involved. Eyewitness accounts can sometimes prove inaccurate, and there is no real way to tell for sure if an account is 100% truthful. Body worn cameras allow officials to look back at the captured footage for a highly accurate account of the events in question.

- Body Worn Cameras Deter Crime

When people know that their actions are being recorded, they tend to behave differently. The advertisement of body worn cameras in use can deter members of the public from behaving antisocially, abusively or aggressively. This is often referred to as the 'observer effect'. Suspects typically plead guilty to the crime when they know they are being recorded.

- Less time on paperwork

Interviews can be recorded in full HD and with crystal clear audio, which helps to save lots of time otherwise spent on transcribing a verbal testimony or summary of a meeting.

- Easier compensation claims

 Whether on a construction site or in a car collision, the use of a well-placed body camera could be the difference between getting the money you are owed. Recording in full HD and with a wide angle lens to capture more of the accident, a body camera is the perfect solution to proving your innocence.

- Fewer complaints

As well as the physical reassurance of having a bodycam, the footage can also provide evidence that the user has completed their job properly. According to Cambridge University, police equipped with body worn cameras receive 93% fewer complaints from the public.

Encrypted Body Cameras

View our full range of encrypted body cameras here.

Some body camera models offer encryption to keep files from being stolen and rewatched by the wrong audience. This process scrambles up the file into an unreadable format and is almost impossible to crack at its highest level, AES 256-bit encryption.

This type of protection may want to be used when you have sensitive files that could be used as evidence e.g. police force or for an explanation of patient condition e.g. for use with paramedics performing an operation on the move.

Both of these types of data will need encryption to help reinforce both personal data and potential evidence for incarceration.

For security and blue light services in particular, we recommend our high-end range of body cameras supplied by Hytera which can be found by clicking here this is thanks to their end to end 256-Bit AES encryption which help to keep all video files safe if stolen or hacked. This model also comes equipped with live GPS tagging and 4G streaming to keep up to date with current events even if you aren't with the body camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to use a Body Camera

Whilst there are many ways to turn on our range of body cameras, there is usually a set button which you hold for several seconds until the screen or light turns on. From here, most of our cameras require a single button push record system to instantly begin recording for rapid response in an emergency.

To capture a recording, simply point the camera lens at what you want to record. When you are finished recording, you can simply press the record button again. If the camera has a screen with footage replay built in, you can then rewatch your recording on the device, however if not it will need to be connected to a computer.

What does IP rating mean?

Body Cameras, like other portable pieces of equipment, often come with an advertised IP rating. An IP rating stands for 'Ingress Protection' and is used to determine/define levels of the equipment's seal against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture. 

What do the numbers mean?

The numbers that follow an IP rating have a specific meaning. The first number indicates the degree of protection from moving parts, as well as the protection of the enclosed equipment from foreign bodies (e.g. dust/dirt). The second number defines the protection level that the enclosure provides against various forms of moisture (e.g. drips or submersion). Generally speaking, the higher the IP rating, the higher the protection. See the chart below for more information on IP/Ingress Protection ratings. 

 

 

Some body camera ratings only test for water protection. If this is the case, the first number will simply be an 'X' to signify there is no data in the protection from solid objects category.

 

To view our entire range of bodycameras, you can click here.

 

 If you are looking for more information about body cameras or have an enquiry, please feel free to call on 0121 456 7800 or email us: sales@speakit.co.uk

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