Last reviewed 21 September 2018

Torbay Council in Devon could join the growing list of employers providing their workers with body cameras, having launched a consultation on the subject, along with a pilot trial of the cameras, in an attempt to protect their staff from attacks.

The trial of the body-worn cameras started in September and will continue until 18 October 2018.

The cameras will be worn by a wide range of staff who are often lone workers, including parking enforcement officers, dog wardens, and also security and town centre staff who have all seen a rise in attacks according to the Council.

Launching the consultation, Torbay Council said as well as being a support to staff where violence or aggression is anticipated or already commenced, they will also aid with any criminal proceedings, for example when dog fouling or littering is witnessed.

Footage taken by the cameras is encrypted and all data is automatically downloaded and deleted from the device. It is then stored on secure databases and automatically deleted from storage after 31 days if there is no request to use the footage due to criminal proceedings.

Following the trial, an evaluation will take place which will include how the equipment has worked for the officers, the impact on incidents of aggression and assaults as well as the results of the consultation.

Commenting on the subject, Councillor Robert Excel, said, “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. These types of cameras not only deters this type of behaviour towards officers but it also provides a clear record if criminal or civil proceedings need to take place.”