The numbers are undeniable: harassment towards retail workers has spiked across the board, and it only continues to grow. Some sectors have been hit particularly hard; convenience store assaults, for example, have risen by 75% in just two years. It’s little wonder, then, that 9 out of 10 retailers say their biggest concern is violence towards staff members. However, there’s one group of workers who experience abuse and harassment even more than most: security guards.
Evidence shows that the environment for security professionals – working alone, sometimes at odd hours, to guard property against often-volatile members of the public – is unfortunately the “perfect storm” for workplace violence. This is reflected in the statistics; when surveyed, 2 in 5 guards said they experienced verbal abuse at least once a month while on duty. Furthermore, these problems only worsen with age, with older guards reporting more abuse than younger ones. Individual stories lay out the problem in even bleaker terms: security guards are regularly stabbed and even shot while on the job.
Unsurprisingly, these issues lead to guards feeling demoralized and undervalued. With 40% of staff currently wanting to quit their jobs, and further staffing issues across the entire workforce, retaining good employees is more important than ever – which is where body cameras come in.
The benefits of body cameras for law enforcement officers are well-documented. These vital pieces of technology provide an independent witness of events in real time; officers who wear cameras have been proven to make more arrests and receive fewer complaints than those who do not. However, retailers are also starting to realize the value they bring to the enterprise space; body cameras can help to deescalate confrontations between staff and the public, while also capturing high-quality evidential video if the situation spirals out of control.
Every business has different requirements for body cameras based on the size and finances of their operation. We designed the VB400 to accommodate that variability, delivering all of the key features you need in a security body camera while also ensuring it’s still budget-friendly and easy to use.
Your guards are busy – they don’t have time to log in to a computer and assign themselves a camera at the start of each shift. Instead, using RFID touch assign, workers can check out a VB400 using nothing more than their existing ID or door access cards. Check out this blog post for more information about touch assign.
Retail security guards wear a variety of clothing – shirts, jackets, tactical vests. The VB400’s flexible mounting options ensure that no matter their uniform, your workers can wear their body cameras however is most comfortable for them – whether that’s on an epaulet, radio loop, or cross-body harness.
If a member of the public becomes aggressive or even violent, it’s important that your guards can start capturing the scene as quickly as possible. The VB400 has five software-configurable buttons, which can map onto a number of gestures (e.g. press, press and hold) and actions (e.g. start recording, connect to Wi-Fi). We also offer a multipurpose default profile, so you can set up your cameras and get going as soon as possible. And once recording is initiated, you can be confident that the scene is being recorded in 1080p HD – the night shift also poses no problem with clarity in conditions as low as 0.2 lux.
The VB400, and its backend software VideoManager, is designed to fit around – and complement – your existing video architecture. VB400s are an important part of our technology ecosystem: they can stream over Wi-Fi into any ONVIF-compatible Video Management System (VMS) including Avigilon Control Center, meaning you can watch fixed and body-worn video side-by-side on the same screen. We’re also working on MOTOTRBO R7 radio integration, meaning one button will soon do the job of two: when the panic button is pressed, their VB400 will be triggered to start recording immediately.
Not all of the video your guards capture will become evidential – but when it’s needed for a prosecution, VideoManager makes it easy to prepare and share with the court system. Whether you need blurring, transcription or audio muting, our built-in redaction editor has you covered. And with our password-protected sharing links, it’s never been safer – or simpler – to get a second opinion.