Body Worn Cameras (BWC) are fast becoming a staple in police department worldwide. Furthermore, their use in the private sector is too, burgeoning. Though the cameras themselves are of critical importance to these initiatives, it is becoming more evident that a full security solution built around BWCs is often the secret to their success.
Footage taken by BWCs has a variety of uses, be it as a training tool or as an addition to a CCTV security set up. One of the most prominent uses for BWCs thus far, though, has been that of using the footage to secure convictions and early-guilty pleas in court. However, to do this, the footage taken by a BWC must be of evidential quality. Though this refers to the literal quality of footage, in terms of resolution, it also refers to proving the footage has not, in any way, been tampered with. This is achieved through having a complete security solution, which is pairing BWCs with a matching piece of back-end software that allows for those using the footage to prove that it is unaltered.
Not only do courts need to prove that the footage has not been interfered with, but also that they know who was using the camera and that the video matches entirely with the time-line of events when an incident occurs.
Considering that about a fifth of the 840 police corruption cases passed to the police watchdog for investigation over three years involved the misuse or passing on of police information, according to a 2012 report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, having such audit trails are invaluable.
Tony Porter, the surveillance commissioner and a former police officer, said in an interview with the independent;
“At the moment there's not 100 per cent adoption of encrypted cameras. Those forces that don't yet have encrypted cameras have spoken about having very firm policies about merging and uploading as soon as possible after an event so that risk is negated. The question I ask: is that sufficient? My answer would be that it's not. All body-worn cameras used by law enforcement should be encrypted.”
VideoBadge body cameras are encrypted and cannot be accessed by those who are not authorised. The only means by which one can access the footage on a VideoBadge is to open it with the corresponding VideoManager, which is Edesix’s comprehensive back-office management software suite. This encryption ensures the data is highly protected and meets the criteria that a lone camera option could not. This process also means that footage taken on Videobadges complies with the necessary audit trails; each recorded piece of footage shows the date, time and user of the camera in that instance.
BWCs are now a key tool in the law enforcement and security world. In order to get the most out of a BWC, they must be part of a full security solution, allowing for the encryption that is necessary for their footage to be deemed court-ready evidence.