Local authority launches body-worn camera consultation
Torbay Council has launched a public consultation on whether its staff should have body-worn cameras.
The council started trialling the cameras with some of its workers earlier this month and the pilot programme will continue under the end of October.
Following the trial, an evaluation will take place which will include how the equipment has worked for the officers, as well as the results of the consultation.
Who will use body-worn cameras
According to the local authority, many of its workers, including parking enforcement officers, dog wardens, security and town centre staff have all seen a rise in attacks.
In a statement, the council said as well as being a support to staff, the cameras will also aid with any criminal proceedings, for example when dog fouling or littering is witnessed.
Use of footage
It added any footage taken by these cameras would be encrypted and all data is automatically downloaded and deleted from the device.
It is then stored on secure databases and automatically deleted from this storage after 31 days if there is no request to use the footage due to criminal proceedings.
Other organisations issuing body-worn cameras
In the last few months, SHP Online has reported that police officers in Humber, NHS paramedics, parking wardens in Yorkshire and recycling workers in Oxfordshire have all been issued with body cameras to help ensure their safety.
Torbay Council body-worn cameras
“I want to reassure our residents that the use of body-worn cameras is primarily for the protection of our staff, as we have seen an increase in violence and aggression towards them, which is simply not acceptable,” said Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Community Services, Cllr Robert Excel.
“These types of cameras not only deter this type of behaviour towards officers but it also provides a clear record if criminal or civil proceedings need to take place.
“We would like to hear from our residents about their thoughts on this type of cameras being used to protect our staff and to help with criminal proceedings. If you come into contact with one of our officers who is trialling these cameras you will also be handed a slip which will inform you of this and encouraging you to let us know your views on this through the consultation.”
The consultation can be found at www.torbay.gov.uk/body-worn-cameras-consultation
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