Things To Consider When Purchasing Body Cameras

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A body camera is a great tool for capturing evidence and protecting staff from false allegations.

When buying body cameras there are a few things to take into consideration:

The purpose

Why are you purchasing body cameras? What do you want them to achieve?

If you are an individual and wanting to film your sporting adventures, you are more likely to purchase a GoPro rather than purchase a body camera that is suitable for ie police force, traffic wardens, security companies...

Protected Footage

Encrypted cameras are a key feature to have, it is a powerful asset. It is important that your footage is stored securely for evidence and that you are able to share evidence safely ie the police. Management systems that can allow different levels of authority are an important feature, particularly when dealing with sensitive data. This means that the company will have greater control of managing their video data. Encrypted footage will ensure staff are not able to copy or tamper with recorded evidence.

Point of View

The Point of View is what the camera can see and record. This is a very important element especially for certain industries such as law enforcement. You want to ensure that your cameras can film the correct point of view. The placement of the camera can enhance the field of view captured on the camera.

Size & Comfort

When it comes to the comfort and size, you want a camera device which is lightweight and not intrusive to the person wearing the system. The perfect formula is the total weight, size of the camera (with all fixings/mountings) and durability. Be careful though, you don’t want a flimsy camera, you want a robust one.

Reliability & Durability

A reliable camera is what you really want. As stated above you want a robust camera, so that it stays in one piece, but you don’t want to have one that is too heavy. If the camera is too heavy it is more likely not to be used. Does the battery last for the required shift time and is it able to record for the duration needed.

Ease of Use

You want a device that is as easy as 1-2-3. Training that can take seconds, a body camera with an easy on and off button. You want your staff working rather than trying to cope with a difficult system for example downloading, labelling, managing and storing footage should all be a straightforward operation. This means less time spent on the body camera management system, allowing you to use your resources more effectively and efficiently.

Back-end Data Management (Software)

Ideally you want a back-end system that is easy for you and your staff to manage. The question you should be asking is: how easy it is to download, store, share and retrieve the large amounts of crucial data from the camera.

The footage will not only be used by staff but when required for evidence it will be passed to the police/court for evidence.

It is important that prosecutors and defence solicitors have the ability to be granted permission to access certain pieces of evidence at required times. An easy and totally secure management system is something worth thinking about.

Multiple Fixing Options

There are various different fixings that are available for body cameras. Fixings will depend on where you want the camera to be placed. For example most police have KlickFast attachments, so it would be sensible to use a KlickFast fixing to secure the camera. Another example could be a screw-on this would be suitable for security guards, traffic wardens…

The flexibility to choose is a huge benefit.

Cost

The price of the camera may not be a full price. You need to be aware of hidden costs for example the storage cloud which is an ongoing cost. So be careful and choose the correct plan. If you are planning to buy a product with additional costs remember to include them when working out the total cost of purchasing body cameras.

Looking after the data will cost employees time to manage the system.

Also there is the cost of possible future upgrades, replacements of parts (that may not be covered by the warranty or past their warranty)…

You should include these factors when choosing your body camera.

Customer Support

Technology can be scary when you don’t know a system. You may need training or to ask a question, having a company that can offer that support can be a weight of your shoulder.

As the body camera can provide crucial evidence, you will require answers answered quickly as possible. It is highly recommended to ask about the process of the customer support offered.

Pre-Event Capture

When incidents occur they usually happen before you have had the chance to hit the pre-record button. A camera that has pre-event capture feature is a huge benefit as this tends to be the evidence that the court wants to see the most.

The pre-event feature means that the camera will be continuously looping which can be set for example 2 minutes before the record button has been activated which means the previous 2 minutes are filmed before the record button has been activated.

Weather Resistance

You want a robust camera one that can succeed within the environment that you operate in.

Before purchasing your camera, give examples of the worse weather conditions in your location to see if the body camera is appropriate.