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The Benefits of Body-worn Cameras

by Benchmark

With a growing trend towards the establishment of smart cities and intelligent campuses, the reduction of crime, increase of public safety and protection of staff and assets becomes increasingly critical for many local authorities, organisations and businesses. The role video has to play in creating and managing smart locations cannot be underestimated, and for many sites video surveillance is already a key element in their solutions, whether used for security or operational procedures.

While surveillance cameras and other interconnected IP devices continue to be an essential part of smart solutions, the increased demand for body-worn cameras indicates how video can be used to further enhance security and allow additional benefits to be realised.

Wearable devices are well established in certain applications such as law enforcement and private security patrols, but wider availability of high-quality, cost-effective devices has also seen increased use in a range of commercial applications such as public transportation, healthcare, remote workers, emergency service responders, etc..

Body-worn devices make sense when deployed for a variety of applications, as they increase the efficiency of people management, as well as enhancing the protection of property or assets. The form an integral part of any flexible video-based solution by delivering high-quality coverage of any incident at its point of origin.

Diverse benefits

Body-worn cameras have potential in applications where operatives run the risk of becoming targets of aggression and abuse, or where the nature of their work presents a risk of injury. The technology also offers benefits for the management and documentation of operational procedures, as well as allowing checks on compliance with health and safety requirements.

Body-worn cameras come into their own when used in conjunction with traditional surveillance cameras. This allows a combination of footage to be captured and assessed, allowing an operator to liaise with on-site personnel, giving them information about an incident while also monitoring their movements and actions.

Wearable devices can also provide up-close video evidence, especially in crowded scenes where traditional surveillance might miss incidents. In complex applications which include a mixture of access control, detection devices, audio speakers and video surveillances, personnel equipped with body-worn cameras can significantly enhance the flexibility of the solution.

Evidence shows that personnel equipped with body-worn cameras can deter antisocial behaviour, whilst also providing reassurance to those visiting or working in a specific area. Additionally, technologies such as face redaction and masking can be used to ensure privacy is respected. Users should also establish defined policies regarding where and when body-worn cameras can be used to record footage.

Integrating wearable devices

Axis Communications offers body-worn cameras which can form part of a unified solution. Because the devices are designed to be used on an open platform, this allows full flexibility, scalability, and the option to incorporate advanced technologies from approved third party partners to enhance the solution.

The body-worn cameras integrate seamlessly with existing video management systems (VMS), allowing the streams from individual cameras to be managed through a central monitoring station. Evidence management systems (EMS) can be used to collect and share digital evidence.

Like the company’s traditional network cameras, the body-worn devices offer full integration with many third-party VMS and EMS solutions. Axis also offers its own EMS, AXIS Case Insight. When used with the AXIS Camera Station VMS platform, a complete end-to-end solution for the management of body-worn cameras and other network devices can be created.

In summary

When selecting wearable cameras for smart solutions, it is critical to select devices which have been designed and engineered for security applications. Some consumer market wearable devices can create cybersecurity risks, deliver limited functionality, and lack the resilience needed in challenging situations. Also, the management of footage and other data can be problematic.

If video footage is to be used as evidence following an incident, it is imperative that the solution is resistant to tampering, manipulation or data theft, and that video can be retrieved quickly and securely.

Axis’ experience in network video allows the creation of credible body-worn cameras which are ideal for a wide spectrum of industries. In smart cities and intelligent campuses, nothing else is acceptable for critical use.

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