The wearing of surveillance cameras is nothing new. We know that police wear them and now drivers and cyclists are using them to film any incidents of poor driving or road rage. The cameras in our streets and public buildings are in place as a deterrent in addition to being used for prosecution purposes.
Parking attendants across the UK are now availing of surveillance equipment to protect themselves on the job. There has been a rise in the number of local authorities using body worn cameras, with over half of local councils using them. Bath is an example of an authority recently adopting the technology for its civil enforcement officers, equipping them with cameras that will be activated only when necessary.
Why use cameras?
Many workers are being subjected to abusive behaviour while carrying out their jobs, which can be intimidating and can cause much distress to the person involved. The camera is there to deter people from being abusive. When you are aware that your actions may be recorded, you are more likely to moderate your behaviour accordingly. Declaring that you are recording conversations immediately defuses potentially abusive scenarios. Footage of abuse can be used to prosecute where appropriate.
A history of abuse
Parking attendants are known for being on the receiving end of abuse by motorists. They can be subjected to both verbal abuse and physical abuse, such as pushing and other physically-intimidating behaviour. Adoption of body worn cameras has been linked to a halving of abusive incidents in Dundee, according to the council’s spokesperson.
Your legal rights
When cameras are being used, it is important to know where you stand legally with the footage. As an individual, you are covered under the data protection act. Only data linked to an incident should be retained for prosecution purposes. Users of cameras, such as those available from https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/legislation, should be aware of legislation around the Protection of Freedom Act of 2012 and should research its implications carefully.
Many council workers are being given body cameras to protect them at work; for example, a Welsh council has given them to its street cleaning staff to deal with increasing incidents of abuse and councils are offering them to staff working in buildings with no CCTV to record abusive behaviour.