Body cameras issued to Central Bedfordshire Council staff
Staff at Central Bedfordshire Council are to start wearing body cameras this week in a bid to improve their safety and wellbeing.
A total of 21 wearable cameras will be worn by staff, including parking, anti-social behaviour and environmental protection officers from 11 October onwards.
According to the Council, the introduction of body cameras to front-line staff will help to improve their evidence gathering, inspection and monitoring procedures, and increase their safety and well-being of the local authority staff.
The cameras will be worn overtly on a lanyard or fitted to the officer’s jacket, but they will only be activated when necessary.
The camera has a screen that is clearly visible to the person being spoken to, and which displays the live footage being taken by the camera lens.
The public will also be advised by the officer that a recording is being made.
The cameras will be used in public and in private premises, and they record both sound and video.
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.
And last month, Torbay Council launched a public consultation on whether its staff should have body-worn cameras.
“We have invested in cutting-edge technology to help us serve the communities in our area better, and to keep them safer,” said Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Member for Community Services, Cllr Ian Dalgarno.
“The cameras will allow front-line council officers to gather first-hand video and audio evidence of an incident. They will give staff confidence when dealing with confrontational individuals, and will help to increase public confidence in the way we collect evidence,” he added.
“Body cameras are increasingly used by the police and by other local authorities. They are not intended as a replacement for other methods of evidence-gathering, but are an additional tool to support our investigations. Footage can help to clearly show the impact and extent of antisocial behaviour, which can otherwise be difficult to describe in a written statement.”
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