SSAIB Contributes to Development of New Body-Worn Video British Standard

SSAIB Contributes to Development of  New Body-Worn Video British Standard

Following SSAIB’s involvement in certificating two police forces’ pioneering introduction of body-worn video technology to the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, the British Standards Institution has launched a new standard for body-worn video (BWV).

The new British Standard - BS 8593:2017 Code of Practice for the Deployment and Use of Body-Worn Video - has been developed in conjunction with SSAIB, who were one of a group of organisations that contributed, alongside others including the Home Office, Metropolitan Police Service, Information Commissioner’s Office, National Police Chiefs’ Council and Transport for London.

The standard delivers a common framework to boost public trust in understanding where and when BWV can be used. The voluntary standard provides technical and operational recommendations for the appropriate and proportionate deployment and use of body-worn video.

The standard was drawn up to address a gap in guidance - due to the differences between the use of CCTV and BWV - and to avoid a repeat of the privacy concerns associated with the widespread roll out of CCTV.

BS 8593 covers planning and operational recommendations, outlining the need for BWV deployment to be based on legitimate reasons; particularly in terms of undertaking a Privacy Impact Assessment.

Anne Hayes, head of market development for governance and resilience at BSI, commented: “During the development of BS 8593, it was agreed that public confidence in the operation and management of BWV was critical, with balancing safety, security and privacy matters a central concern.

“The involvement of both security and privacy groups shows that standards can deliver industry consensus by aligning agendas to the public benefit. BWV has an advantage as a security device, in terms of providing the user with a sense of protection; a second pair of eyes and ears should something go wrong.”

Meanwhile, Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) Tony Porter has welcomed the standard’s introduction.

He added: “I am delighted to support the new British Standard and acknowledge the excellent work which has been undertaken by those to deliver it in such short timescales. As the use of body-worn cameras proliferate, they become more and more engrained as an intrusive capability in the daily lives of citizens.

“The important and fundamental balance of preserving the rights of citizens - while keeping our communities safe and secure – is at the heart of the Home Secretary’s surveillance camera code of practice which I regulate and the principles within that code are at the heart of the new standard.”

SSAIB auditors completed certification of Greater Manchester Police and the Metropolitan Police Service to the SCC code of practice, for their use of BWV technology - in a variety of ways - to capture police operational activity first-hand, using helmet or vest-mounted cameras. These affordable cameras provide high-quality images and audio, which can be used for evidential purposes.

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