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Blog: Effectively Reducing The Risk Of Anti-social Behaviour By Using Body-Worn Cameras           Published: 04/10/2022

Effectively Reducing The Risk Of Anti-social Behaviour By Using Body-Worn Cameras

One only needs to look at recent statistics on anti-social behaviour to realise that this is a growing concern among UK home and business owners. For example, a 2021 survey found that a third of adults in England and Wales had witnessed an anti-social incident over the previous 12 months. In certain parts of the UK, the rates can be as high as 71%, particularly where businesses are involved.

In recent years, we have seen how surveillance and security technology can support the strategies created to prevent physical and online anti-social behaviour. This is the case with body worn cameras, as we will explain in this article.



How are body worn cameras being used?

Body worn recording devices have been used by police officers since the early 2000s, as their footage constitutes a valuable and accurate source of evidence in the event of an incident.

Since then, body-worn devices have also been adopted by many commercial and public organisations, as well as private security firms, with equally encouraging results. The so-called Observer Effect suggests that the simple fact of wearing a camera is enough to modify the behaviour of the wearer, and can deter criminals from committing a crime.

The rise in use of body cams by police raises other questions regarding its effectiveness. For example, given that police misconduct has recently been a hot topic, many people wonder do body worn cameras improve police behaviour – as well as, by extension, the conduct of other non-police security guards? Here’s what we know so far.

A Cambridge University study examined whether body worn cameras had any impact on the number of complaints the public made about police behaviour. The study found a 93% reduction in complaints. This was further supported by the findings of a Metropolitan Police survey, which detected a 33% drop in misconduct allegations. Another study found that use of force rates during arrests were also lower in cases where officers were wearing body cameras.

Having said that, the use of these cameras does not deter all instances of misconduct or anti-social behaviour. Body worn cameras can be highly effective in some circumstances, although researchers are right to point out that we don’t know if “better behaviour” is an effect of more professional interactions or simply reflect changes in reporting and complaint filing.

Commercial applications of body-worn cameras

Whichever the case may be, and outside the law enforcement sector, body cams continue to have useful applications in commercial security:

  • Areas where front-line or security staff are particularly vulnerable to verbal or physical assault.
  • It can help improve security in parts of your business that aren’t covered by CCTV, especially when integrated with existing systems.
  • Customers also benefit from a lower risk of suffering anti-social behaviour on your business premises.
  • If anti-social behaviour does affect your business, footage from body worn cameras has significant weight as an unbiased source of evidence.

Find out more

To see the full range of benefits involved in using body worn devices in commercial settings, we invite you to download our Guide To Body Worn Cameras.