Body worn camera adoption rises amid shopworker safety fears

Growing fears over shop workers’ safety are driving demand for body worn cameras, according to retail technology provider Reveal.

The company said it is preparing for increased demand for body-warn cameras after 69 leading retailers wrote to the Prime Minister calling for it to become a statutory offence to assault, threaten or abuse a shopworker in England or Wales, following the introduction of similar legislation in Scotland.

The letter, signed by leaders at Primark, John Lewis and JD Sports, cites an increase in violent in-store customer incidents, including a 600 per cent increase in incidents at one retailer due to the implementation of Covid restrictions.

Meanwhile, while almost 1,000 violent incidents were recorded in a single week at another retailer after face coverings were made compulsory.

Reveal said that more than £1 billion has been invested by the retail sector in new crime prevention measures such as body worn cameras in the last year.

The company has seen an 80 per cent increase in retail customers since the beginning of the pandemic.

Boots is currently trialling its body worn cameras within several Birmingham branches, while JD Sports is among High Street brands preparing to equip staff with Reveal’s technology when its shops reopen.

JD Sports’ former profit protection manager Stephen Valentine said: “Retail workers have faced a growing tirade of abuse in recent years which has been fully intensified by the pandemic. Body worn cameras are going to be vital in protecting and reassuring staff as we come out of this lockdown.

He added:“Simply the presence of a body worn camera can often be enough to deter abuse and deescalate what could otherwise be a very difficult situation. The trials JD Sports has run show that staff feel so much safer in dealing with potentially aggressive customers as a result of wearing a camera.”

The UK-headquartered company founded in 2002, has provided body worn camera technology to police forces, prisons, and local governments worldwide.

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