New BWV for ‘connected’ officer 

Edesix showcased its next-generation body-worn video (BWV) camera at last month’s IFSEC International integrated security event in London. Built for the “connected world”, it says the new VB-400 takes the technology to “the next level”. 

Jul 11, 2019
By Paul Jacques

The VB-400 will be predominantly aimed at the policing and security sectors, where officers on the front line utilise BWV to help prevent both criminal and anti-social behaviour when on patrol. Additionally, the captured footage not only provides greater transparency of interactions with the public, but also significantly increases early guilty pleas when used in a prosecution. 

It has been designed to be a simple, unobtrusive addition to any uniform, and features a market-leading IP67 ingress protection rating, full 1080p HD recording capabilities to capture evidence-quality footage, Bluetooth sensor monitoring and built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) functionality, which will greatly simplify camera asset management across large estates. 

Other features include a full-shift battery life, wi-fi streaming, 120-degree horizontal field of view and haptic and audio feedback alerts to show when recording has been activated. 

“The use of BWV cameras is revolutionising policing and security around the globe, and the launch of our new VB-400 is going to take this protection to the next level,” explains Richie McBride, managing director of Edesix. 

“Our next generation VB-400 has been built for the connected world, and provides real-time GPS functionality, streaming and the ability to seamlessly interface with its environment. The VB-400’s new Bluetooth sensor monitoring also enables hands-free incident recording. All these new features have been designed to assist the connected officer.” 

Edesix is now under the umbrella of Motorola Solutions, which bought its parent company VaaS International Holdings for £350 million at the beginning of the year. 

“In recent years we have seen a transformation in policing and security,” said Mr McBride. 

“Technology-driven solutions have created ‘connected’ officers – they can stream video, access information and collaborate in real-time in order to operate safely and more efficiently in the field. 

“Police officers have always been connected to some degree, either to the public and communities they serve, or with colleagues on the street and in the control room. They have shared information and generated insights to help address common problems or protect those with common vulnerabilities. 

“However, digital technology has now enhanced these connections, making officers feel more empowered, supported and secure.” 

BWV cameras have been proven to improve the safety of those in public-facing roles, while producing compelling legal evidence when needed, says Mr McBride, who believes the cameras can provide two-fold protection for staff. 

“Firstly, members of the public naturally change and moderate their behaviour for the better when they realise they are, or may be, being recorded,” he explained. “But importantly those cameras can then be used, when needed, to alert colleagues to an incident, to obtain evidential quality footage to secure convictions, or to uphold the account of staff in the event of a complaint or incident.” 

In recent years, developments in BWV cameras have been extensive, ranging from HD recording capabilities to dual band live wi-fi streaming of incidents, allowing for faster decision-making. 

“With the launch of the new VB-400 this has moved on again, with BWV cameras now having hands-free activation, meaning incidents can be recorded – for example when weapons are drawn or when a car door is opened,” said Mr McBride. 

“Easy device location, when integrated with Tactical VideoManager, also means that management of BWV cameras across large fleets is now greatly simplified. The new GPS capabilities is particularly important for policing, as it enables ‘dispatch’ to monitor live situations with the help of real-time footage, and if then the situation escalates it can make an informed decision, for example to call for back-up.” 

Mr McBride says a key for the connected officer is to never get distracted by the new technology. 

“They are often confronted with highly stressful situations and must stay focused throughout,” he said. “The right information, delivered at the right time, in the right way can change the result. 

“Therefore, to deliver the benefits, a BWV camera system must be simple to deploy, simple to manage and simple to use. The wearable camera is a tool for the user to protect themselves – but it isn’t the focus of their job, nor should it be.” 

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