Body worn cameras are a vital part of a security team’s kit, gathering evidence and recording situations accurately. The use of bodycam technology has increased over the past 5 years, with other industries finding them useful in their duties. In 2016, the Met Police implemented the largest roll-out of body worn cameras in the world. Police officers are reporting lower cases of physical and verbal abuse while on patrol.
In this article, we’re going to explain what you need to consider when purchasing a body worn camera for your team.
Is the body worn camera reliable?
Reliability is key, why else would we be using them? When looking for a body-worn camera, you need to know it’s reliability when you’re on duty. Will it be able to capture crucial evidence in the nick of time?
Models like the Hytera begin recording up to 30 seconds before the button is pressed, allowing you to gather more context on video.
Never compromise on quality because of price.
How long does the battery last?
The last thing anybody wants is for the body-worn camera to run out of battery in the middle of a situation, crucial evidence could be missed. Always check the battery life of a bodycam, both recording time and standby time. Some models have an emergency battery that comes in if the original battery is removed or runs out. This can be useful yet we recommend always to carry a spare – just in case.
Multi-charging docks are useful as you can download data from multiple cameras whilst charging.
Are they heavy?
As you’re attaching a body-worn camera to your uniform, a vest or onto a helmet, you may not want it to be unnecessarily heavy. Some brands offer a lightweight version that doesn’t compromise on the strength or quality of the camera.
What attachments are compatible with this particular camera?
Some body cameras available online are compatible only with the brand’s own accessories, this isn’t useful if you already have accessories. Before purchasing, check to see if the accessories are compatible with your chosen device. Many body cameras are Klickfast compatible.
What is the quality of the audio & video?
Great, you’ve just shot a crucial piece of evidence on your body-worn camera. As you go to watch it back, you discover the audio is muffled and the video is pixelated. Ouch. Check the quality of the camera before purchase. Many companies will offer demonstrations of the products, or you can view examples of videos shot online. If you’re still concerned after purchasing, test the camera before using it on duty and watch the video recording back in full. This would also be a good time to test the positioning.
Does the camera work well in low-light?
Lighting conditions are not always perfect, if you’re primarily a night-time worker you must consider whether the camera will work well in low light. The Hytera VM550D can capture footage in low light up to a range of 10 meters, and other models come with night-vision. Assess what you need to record and decide accordingly.
Is it GDPR compliant?
Since the new GDPR rules were applied in the EU, there has been a grey area in the GDPR compliance of body-worn cameras and some CCTV systems. GDPR was implemented to protect personal data, both of the wearer and the general public. Both the Hytera and Pinnacle Body Worn Cameras come with Digital Evidence Management Software which restricts access to viewers. We will be covering more on the GDPR compliance of the cameras we supply in a later article.
If you do have any more questions about body-worn cameras, and how to implement them into your duties, our team are on hand to help you choose the right one for you. Call us on 0800 975 6444 or email us on [email protected]