Spotlight: Reveal’s body cameras thwart stress, complaints
The body-worn video cameras have a major impact on crime reduction — among other things
Reveal Media is the leading provider of body-worn video camera solutions. Capturing evidence from a first-person perspective, this technology, created by Alasdair Field, has proven to reduce levels of abuse and antisocial behavior, as well as to deliver significant cost and operational efficiencies to organizations deploying it.
What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
I started Reveal Media nearly 12 years ago after nearly 20 years in the broadcast industry as I was fascinated by the convergence of computing and video going on at the time. This was long before YouTube and broadcasters making their material available online, so no one knew what a viable model looked like. I realized that being able to find and see what you wanted when you wanted was going to be revolutionary and so it has turned out to be. What I was not expecting was the opportunity to apply what we knew to the management of police evidence, and within two years of starting the business, Reveal Media was solely focused on evidence management.
Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
Since being involved at the very start of body worn video usage by police officers in 2006, we have heard time and time again that the use of this technology saves officers from all of the stress and potential disciplinary action that results from vexatious complaints. The cameras are a completely transparent, independent witness to events and many studies have shown it to have a major impact on crime reduction, use of force, early guilty pleas and paperwork. I truly believe that this is as significant as the introduction of police radio and will be available to every officer in the near future.
What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
As soon as we became involved in the first major pilot of body-worn video cameras sponsored by the UK’s Home Office, I realized that this was going to transform policing, and I effectively bet our future on it by focusing all our efforts in this area. However in those early days there was only a very small amount of units being purchased, so it was a real challenge to develop great equipment, as it requires a lot of investment. This also occurred around the time of the financial crisis, so public spending was reduced and access to finance was nonexistent. However we dug deep, and it’s a huge testament to our fantastic team at Reveal Media that we are in the position that we enjoy today.
What makes your company unique?
Three things: best products, best value and best service.
What do your customers like best about you and your products?
We work hard to make every interaction with the company and its products a pleasant, invigorating and rewarding experience for our customers. We win the vast majority of competitive tenders where various products will have been considered, so I think there are many things customers like over others. Our DEMS software is unparalleled in simplicity and power, so users love it. Our signature front-facing screen and articulated camera on all our recorders are also major advantages over our competitors.
What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Officers love having our cameras and there are huge public benefits too — it’s an almost unparalleled win-win for all. To know that our products are making people’s lives better every day is hugely rewarding for everyone at Reveal Media.
Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety?
We support a number of charities globally, including search and rescue teams and child safety teams in Africa.
Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
Our UK office is actually a boat on the river Thames in London. At the time of writing there are countrywide storms and floods going on, so the team there is literally riding the storm.
What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
2014 is going to be an incredible year for Reveal Media: lots of fun and lots of hard work as the focus on body-worn video has increased dramatically recently. Also we have some incredible products in development which we are really excited about and can’t wait to introduce. We are already selling into 25 countries and this is increasing rapidly, so this is going to be quite some year.