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Ramin Amiri | Security Use of Body Worn Cameras Case Study

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Case Study Introduction

Ramin Amiri is employed by the prestigious security company City Protection Group (CPG) as head of security at an electronic store in Sweden by day, and by night a bouncer at a popular weekend night club. In Sweden, the police can grant a license to advanced security guards which equips them with additional authority. Ramin is an advanced security guard with enhanced authority on his front line.

Ramin has the authority to make an arrest, which is often necessary in his line of work as he frequently encounters challenging situations. His team calls individuals who cause trouble “People of Interest” (POI), and they are can range from simply being rude and antisocial to stealing, drug trafficking and physically assaulting the security guards.

When Ramin and his team have made an arrest and are waiting for the police to arrive, some POI resist the arrest by attempting to run away or fight of the guards. When the police arrive, POI can often lie about what happened and what was said to protect themselves. On some occasions, POI even create false allegations against the security guards.

How did you hear about body worn video?

“I first heard about body worn video through the company we get our security vests from. They were recommending the technology. I also heard about the kit from a colleague who works at a different night club. He had been using Reveal’s cameras for his work and was having great success from them.

“I didn’t have to convince CPG to deploy them because it was already something they had been thinking about. They already wanted to get cameras on their front line workers.”

Why did you want body worn cameras?

“I wanted the cameras for three reasons. To protect my security guards from false allegations, to collect evidence for court but most importantly to deter incidents.

“People can be very aggressive and lie about what was said. In fact sometimes they can even turn it around and act as if they are the victim in the situation. The police would sometimes not know who to believe when we had a case.

“We wanted the cameras with the front facing screen because we had heard from my colleague that it is such a deterring piece of equipment. Unlike our other equipment we have, which is only useful when we have to handle a POI, the camera is a big plus for us because it stops us getting to that point, which is exactly what we want.”

Have the cameras made a difference?

“The cameras have made a tremendous difference. CPG have a policy that we record every confrontation with POI. Since deploying them I have not made a single arrest where the POI has been aggressive and tried to fight me or run off. In addition, the Police have been very impressed with the professionalism of how we handle confrontations and have complimented us on many occasions.

“I had a situation with one man who had been stealing. As soon as we had stopped him I recognised him as a historically violent person who had resisted arrest on a previous occasion and tried to fight and run away.

“This time, with the camera, he was looking at himself on the front facing screen for the whole incident, instead of looking at me, his focus was on the camera. I could see in his eyes that he was contemplating escaping and figuring out how to get away, but because he was being filmed he knew it wouldn’t make a difference. He was also very short of answers with my questions, where previously he would have been very aggressive or creating false allegations.

“He was found to have a large quantity of drugs on him, so clearly, he was desperate to get away but because of the camera he didn’t. I believe if I did not have the body camera I would have had to have chased him and wrestled him to the ground.

“The best thing about it was that he saw the camera and his behaviour altered without me having to draw attention to it or explain it to him.”

Are there any changes in particular that have resulted from the cameras?

“Nobody has tried to fight back or run away from me. That means there has been a 100% reduction in POI running away or resisting arrest since the introduction of the cameras.

“Because we lacked any independent witnesses, the police used to not know who to believe when we had a case. We would report to them what happened, and the POI would sometimes report a completely different story. But since the introduction of the cameras we have been able to provide evidence of every encounter with POI and have been complimented by the police by how professional we are during confrontations.”

Which camera are you using?

“I am using the RS1-SX in the electronic store. I have to wear a suit and look smart and the RS1-SX is tidy. It fits well on my shirt because it is small and light and looks nice and clean. It does a good job of collecting high quality evidence because I’m wearing it during the day in a well-lit area.

“I need to use the RS3-SX when I work as a bouncer though because its advanced features are necessary in a night club setting. The environment is darker so having the HD footage makes the picture clearer and people can also be quite drunk so you need something that is going to stand out a little more. You need something that is a little more obvious for it to still have the deterring effect.”

How does the front facing screen make a difference?

“It makes an amazing difference. It makes a difference immediately when we confront a POI because it is clear that there is a camera recording. They are far less likely to make things up or become aggressive because they know that we are recording their conduct and everything that is said. They also can’t run away because they know it’s not an option.

“I believe that the front facing screen makes the camera into a tool for deterring incidents, which is exactly what we are looking for. Other cameras without a front facing screen are only good for collecting evidence to be used afterwards and are therefore a different tool completely.”

How does the articulated camera head make a difference?

“I am 195cm tall. Most people I come across are smaller than me, so if a camera without an articulated camera head was on me, it would probably be pointing in the wrong direction over the POI’s head, or I would have to be leaning over the whole time for it to be accurate.

“POI can be anywhere between 150cm and 215cm so to be able to adjust where the camera is pointing with the flick of a wrist is great for us.”

How does the one touch record make a difference?

“It is good in all cases, but it especially good in sudden or unexpected incidents. You just bring the switch down with one quick motion and then you are hands free to deal with the incident. It makes a big difference.

“When a fight breaks out, there’s no room or time to be doing anything else with your hands, pressing lots of buttons. And it’s great because you simply leave it on until the incident has been fully resolved. It’s great.

“It has been made standard practise to record every interaction with a POI, so it’s become second nature to us to pull down the switch whenever we think we are about to enter something. I don’t even think about it anymore, it’s that easy.”

How have you found working with a Reveal reseller?

“Great. The support has been brilliant. I have had two RS3-SX breakages because of messy fights with POI, but on both occasions the reseller has picked them up, given me a replacement to use in the mean-time and fixed the cameras ready to be used again. It has been a great service.”

Over all how have you found using Reveal’s cameras?

“The cameras have become my most used and my most important tool. We don’t just want to collect high quality evidence of incidents, we would rather avoid them all together. So it’s great that the cameras reduce the amount of incidents and make POI less violent when something kicks off.

“I feel everyone who works, not just in this industry, but in this nature – on the front line – should have one of Reveal’s cameras. They have made our line of work much easier. Every aspect of my job is much smoother now. We no longer have false allegations, we have undisputable evidence and it acts as an effective deterrent. People are also generally much politer!”

Would you recommend Reveal?

“I would recommend Reveal because I’ve looked into other camera providers and they do not seem to be able to provide the same benefits that a front facing screen, articulated camera head and one touch record bring.

“In fact, without the front facing screen it would become a whole different tool. Instead of being deployed to deter incidents and crime, another kind of camera without a front facing screen would simply be an extension of our CCTV, only there to gather evidence once an incident had occurred.

“This is what I believe makes Reveal different and better than any other camera supplier in the world. Making people behave in a different way, that’s what we want. People not to fight us.”

“The introduction of the camera has seen a marked decline in confrontations between detainees and officers. Anyone who works directly with the public, would be doing themselves a huge injustice in not investing in these cameras.”
John Connolly, Immigration Removal Services