With body worn cameras slowly becoming the norm amongst police forces across the country, other professions have taken their lead in a bid to reduce violent conduct. With a hospital issuing cameras to its staff, we look at whether they can make a difference in reducing threatening behaviour.
Security guards at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London have been provided with body worn cams in a pre-emptive measure to combat abusive behaviour from patients. The number of assaults on NHS staff has not only risen 27 percent from the previous year, but they have become more severe, with reports of staff being pinned to the floor, hit and given black eyes included in some of the serious incidents.
The NHS Trust for Guy’s and St Thomas’ reported 75 on site arrests, an increase of 30 from the previous year. This also resulted in 26 patients being excluded from care, only being treated in an emergency situation. It is the hope that with security officers wearing body cameras, situations will be deescalated and act as a deterrent for patients who may have shown violent actions in the past.
Roy Smith, superintendent of Scotland Yard, believes that the cameras will protect both staff and patients due to them being worn so overtly. If people can see that they are being recorded, they may be less likely to react and initiate threatening behaviour.
Other Areas Using Cameras
It is not just police and hospitals that are making use of body worn cameras. Two schools in England are taking part in a three month trial in which teachers will be wearing cameras to prevent against threats.
Many businesses now feel that the use of body worn cams will have a positive effect. Whether that includes wearing them as a preventative measure or using them to record potential incidents of violence, companies are now looking into buying their own supply of more advanced body worn cams.
With the Metropolitan Police continuing the process of rolling out body worn cameras to their Taskforce teams, it seems like only a matter of time before forces across the country start wearing them as standard. They hope that not only will residents feel reassured in police actions, but that the use of violent and threatening behaviour will also decrease.