Environment Agency pilots body worn camera scheme

Environment Agency pilots body worn camera scheme
September 29 06:50 2017 Print This Article


In the first trial of its kind within the Environment Agency (EA), enforcement officers in the North East are wearing body-worn cameras.

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Trial

The trial, which will take six months, was initiated after an employee was threatened with violence whilst out on a routine site visit. The employee is an ex-police officer and had worn body cameras as part of his previous job. Seeing how effective they were, he suggested the trial to the EA. EA waste enforcement officers regularly encounter aggressive behaviour. with 59 prosecutions in the last 16 years in cases of obstruction and hostile threatening behaviour.

Purpose

The purpose of the trial is to reduce the number of incidents related to anti-social behaviour and threats against staff. The main target is staff working on waste sites, both regulated and illegal, as this industry is attracting an ever-increasing number of criminals. Studies have proven that criminals are less likely to contest evidence if they know it has been captured on camera, so this could reduce legal costs and speed up the justice system in the long term.

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Success

If the trial proves successful, body-worn cameras will be available to EA teams throughout the UK. They will be used by officers visiting illegal waste sites, poor performing sites, fisheries and navigation patrols. Officers will only activate the camera if they encounter a hostile situation on site, in which case they must inform the people being filmed; otherwise, the camera will be switched off. The footage will delete automatically after 30 days if it’s not used for evidential purposes. Early indications show that officers wearing the cameras have already prevented hostile situations from escalating.

Camera

The Metropolitan Police Service was the front-runner in rolling out the Body Worn Camera https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/ 12 months ago to more police officers than anywhere else in the world. They found that the cameras supported the officers in many challenging situations and also helped to build public confidence, making the police more transparent.

With body-worn cameras becoming the norm on our streets, there are endless possibilities for their use. Ambulance crews and Fire Officers could possibly be the next in line to use them as they come across anti-social behaviour and aggressive situations on a daily basis. If they keep our emergency service crews safe, they are worth every penny.

 

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Clare Louise
Clare Louise

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