July 21, 2011
Body Cameras Deter Motorists' Aggression
Street Parking Solutions, Cape Town, has introduced fifteen body worn video devices to be worn by its parking marshals. Body worn video originated in the United Kingdom, is growing in the United States and New Zealand and is now being adopted by SPS in Cape Town. Zunade Loghdey, manager of SPS, researched many surveillance methods before settling on a body worn video solution.
A body worn video device is a camera that staff can attach to their clothing. Cameras should be capable of recording at a high quality – high enough to be used as evidence. The cameras bought by SPS are portable and record audio as well as video. This means that footage follows an incident.
Loghdey, manager of SPS, employs 200 parking marshals who operate in the Central Business District of Cape Town. Each marshal manages fifteen parking spaces, so they encounter many customers during their day. Loghdey bought fifteen cameras from Reveal Media, a leading UK body worn video supplier. One of the reasons he bought the body worn cameras was to deter angry motorists; Loghdey’s staff can use the cameras to record any abuse they receive. They previously found that motorists did not take them seriously. Now that they wear Body Worn Cameras, their credibility is greatly improved.
Loghdey researched many methods of surveillance before choosing to buy Body Worn Cameras. He chose cameras that are easy to use and contained within a hardy leather case.
A serious factor in Loghdey’s decision to buy was the presence of a screen on the front of the camera. It shows the public what the camera lens sees or records. The “screen shown to motorists or perpetrators is a great deterrent,” said Loghdey. “Our municipal Police absolutely loved it.” He noted they were particularly pleased with the cameras’ light weight and the evidence monitoring software that comes with the Kiosk.
Loghdey monitored motorists’ reactions to parking marshals and the cameras’ effect on how professionally and effectively marshals worked. “There has a 100% improvement on all fronts.” Loghdey said after only using the cameras for two weeks. “I believe strongly that these cameras will be a major boost all round to my business going forward.” He is already looking to purchase more cameras.
Reveal Media, the UK-based company that supplied the cameras says, “We are delighted that Street Parking Services has already seen the enormous benefits that body worn video systems can bring to lone worker safety and productivity.”