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Should Door Supervisors wear Bodycameras? Since 2016 the idea of Door Supervisors wearing a body camera has been circulating around top police officials and the security industry authority. It was first taken seriously by the UK police force in early 2016, in what was a roll out of

Should Door Supervisors wear Bodycameras?

August 19, 2019
Since 2016 the idea of Door Supervisors wearing a body camera has been circulating around top police officials and the security industry authority. It was first taken seriously by the UK police force in early 2016, in what was a roll out of over 20,000 deployed officers who were part of the first initiative for the use of body worn video (BWV) in line with common law and continues to be trailed out by many UK boroughs. 
The first security guards to wear body cams were in fact due to demands by the press after a Panorama documentary  ( ) exposed the unprofessional behaviour of G4S security guards working in youth prisons.
The documentary revealed how security operatives would harm prisoners and then deliberately conceal their actions by covering and deleting CCTV footage. 
In wake of the corruption, G4S agreed that their security staff would wear body cameras in all youth prisons that they worked with, to deter reprehensible behavior from all parties.
What is a BWV?
Body worn video is a video recording system that is used to record interactions with the public and used to gather video evidence at crime scenes. It’s use has been actioned for both officer and citizen accountability. 
The roll out of body worn video has not only been limited to security personnel and police, parking inspectors in some areas have also been made to wear the device to capture an assault.
Since their use by local authority's, body cameras have come under scrutiny for being invasive of privacy laws and in regards unlawful recording of the unwary public. 
A Surveillance Watchdog ( ) has warned that body cameras and facial recognition systems are providing challenges in relation to protecting the civil liberties of the public.  In the report it examines an increasing number of councils who are equipping frontline staff with body cameras. For example, Spelthorne Council, in Surrey, confirmed its enforcement officers, which includes those who deal with litter and dog fouling, would start to wear body cameras, with footage being kept for a year. 
The commissioner of the report notes concern that these organisations are not using BWV with the same rigorous oversight as the police. CCTV is regulated under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and includes a surveillance camera code of practice, however this does not extensively cover BWV.
What does the SIA say? (taken from the the sia official website)
Individuals who view footage recorded by bodycams are likely to fall within the definition of public space surveillance (CCTV) activity. If you are employed to use CCTV equipment to monitor the activities of a member of the public in a public or private space, other than for the purposes of protecting property or identifying a trespasser (e.g. if you use CCTV to guard against outbreaks of disorder), and this activity is carried out in connection with any contract for the supply of services, then you will require a Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) licence.
If you simply wear a headcam or bodycam but do not watch or review any of the footage from that device, the SIA takes the view that this does not fall within the public space surveillance (CCTV) definition. You would therefore not require a Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) licence.
When dealing with matters relating to public space surveillance (CCTV), the Data Protection Act 1998 (and the eight data protection principles that underpin the regulation) must be taken into consideration. Public space surveillance (CCTV) captures information about individuals, and information held by organisations that relates to individuals is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998. Most organisations that process personal data are required to register as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Benefits of BWV
With privacy laws highlighting the invasiveness of BWV to the public, we can on the other hand argue it is a welcome tool adding an extra layer of protection and accountability. Door supervisors and premise managers rely on CCTV to prove the due diligence of their door supervisors but unfortunately CCTV cannot cover every corner, which is where BWV comes into it's own.  
In regards to its use as a criminal deterrent, If security operatives wore body cameras in plain view the argument goes that crime will fall, as potential criminals will be aware that their actions are being documented to be later used as legal evidence against them.
Furthermore, BMV's are a two way system capable of evidencing individual misconduct aswell as capturing the actions of those wearning the camera's holding corporations accountable for staff who engage in corrupt or unlawful behavior.
A study from academics at Cambridge University ( ) said that the wearers of body cameras are also less likely to use force when their actions are being recorded.

What are your thoughts on body worn cameras and should it be compulsory for door work and security guards in general?

Picture Credit: FGH Security -

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