Crime-busters issue body cameras to bouncers
DOOR staff at venues in Wellingborough are now using body-worn video cameras to help curb anti-social behaviour associated with the night-time economy. It is believed Wellingborough is one of the first towns to encourage pubs and clubs to issue the body-worn devices to their staff.
Members of Wellingborough Community Safety Partnership, including Northamptonshire Police and the Borough Council of Wellingborough, with Pubwatch and the Wellingborough Business Improvement District, have rolled out the system to 20 door staff after a successful trial of the cameras – which record sound, unlike general CCTV equipment.
Members of the Community Safety Partnership contributed to their cost and individual venues were then able to buy them at a reduced rate.
Gill Chapman, principal community support manager from Wellingborough council, said: “The Community Safety Partnership aims to pull together all local organisations interested in preventing and reducing crime and disorder to collectively tackle issues, and this initiative is a great example of local licensees in particular coming together to tackle an issue of concern to all.”
Sanjai Tailor, Pubwatch spokesperson and owner of three town centre venues, added: “The main reason for using a body-worn camera is to enhance public safety. Most venues already have CCTV and the body worn cameras will support this and also enable door staff to capture audio of any incident, helping to provide additional evidence if needed. I believe it’s important for our door staff to feel they have the support of the police and we work closely with them through Pubwatch. We are all aiming for the same thing, which is ensuring that everyone has a good, safe night out.”
Inspector Lara Alexander-Lloyd said: “All police officers are issued with body-worn cameras and they have proved themselves time and again in capturing evidence. They can be a deterrent as well as helping to de-escalate incidents, as people know they are being recorded.
“The majority of people who come into town drink and behave responsibly and have an enjoyable night out, but we hope the cameras will provide extra reassurance.
“Wellingborough Pubwatch is a great partnership and I am pleased they have chosen to issue cameras that are the same as those used by Northamptonshire Police. Officers will be able to advise door staff on their use and it also demonstrates how we work closely with door staff to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across the town.”
Above – AUDIO-VISUAL SUPPORT: Sanjai Tailor and Chief Inspector Gary Ashton with one of the devices.