10 Factors To Consider When Buying A Bodycam

The use of bodycams has completely shaken up the British and American policing systems, with forces across both countries widely adopting the technology as a means of better protecting police and the public alike, but what factors need to be considered when weighing up a purchase?

1. Placement

Chest-mounted is popular and there are also shoulder, helmet and eyewear versions. No model will capture everything, so you may wish to trial different versions for your needs and see which performs best.

2. Recording past events

Different models will have different buffer speeds, which is useful for officers who attend a scene mid-progress. Look for rapid access and switch-on features.

3. How easy they are to use

Body worn cameras from manufacturers such as must be easy to turn on and off and allow easy video download and storage.

4. Comfort and durability

Body cameras need to be tough and robust enough to stand up to heavy frontline duty. Make sure the model you choose is light to wear.

5. Metadata

Choose a model that stores metadata such as date and time as minimum. You want the body camera to record as much about the scene as possible for future reference.

6. Data formats

Standard video formats are important to avoid conversion issues. Look for a model that uses the same video file standards as mobile phones. This avoids the need for time-consuming conversion later, which can delay access and impact the detail of the video.

7. Check for encryption

This is vital for protecting sensitive data at the final stage. Check for internal processes and standards if you are purchasing the cameras for a corporate purchase. Particularly for police forces, encryption is essential for compliance and to ensure that videos are admissible as evidence.

8. Factor in all costs

Consider the additional costs, such as support, training, video evidence storage and management. This is necessary because the cost of a bodycam system will always be more than the initial purchase alone.

9. Consider IT support

If you don’t have in-house support, what does the vendor company offer for the ongoing management of hardware, storage and software?

10. Ask for a trial

If you are planning a large-scale purchase, the vendor will typically allow you to trial the system for a period of time beforehand.

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