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Body worn cameras – how do they fit into and enhance our public space security?

Body worn cameras are small video recording devices attached to a patrolling security officerโ€™s clothing, helmet or sunglasses. For the officer, the device can capture video and audio recordings like arrests, searches, interrogations, and critical incidents.

Having body worn cameras as part of the security regimen provides numerous benefits:

Increased civility: In some instances, body worn cameras allow for more public compliance deterring possible offenders from bad behaviour if they know an incident is being recorded.

Provides evidence: Recorded incidents could provide useful information that may even be used in arrests and prosecution. The cameras provide a quicker resolution to incidents that require corroborating.

Transparency from officers: These cameras may result in increased answerability and transparency which can ultimately lead to better security provided.

Training opportunities: Body-worn cameras offer opportunities to advance policing through training and playbacks by assessing officer activity and identifying ways of improving.

In the public space where Urban Improvement Precincts and Management Association security officers have a dominant presence, body worn cameras form a key part of the holistic security approach assisting in evidence gathering, de-escalation of potential incidents, and provide security officers with a professional tool to conduct their duties.

Cameras worn daily by the security officers, are manually activated when required and are currently used by the uMhlanga UIP, Ballito UIP and the Bridge City Management Association.

Depending on the precinct, all BCMA and BUIP security officers are equipped with body worn cameras and we are currently testing a new radio/camera combo device in UUIP which will be deployed to all officers who engage with the public.

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