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10 Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras in Retail

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10 Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras in Retail

In the last year alone, the level of violent and abusive incidents against retail staff has skyrocketed, almost tripling from around 450 to 1,300 every single day. The shocking statistics have proven that body-worn cameras go beyond just police and security and are essential for protecting front line retail teams too.


Deterring and De-Escalating Violence and Aggression

This year, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported a record 400,000 incidents; the equivalent of 1,301 violent or abusive occurrences every day. The presence of a body camera, especially one with a front-facing screen, is proven to have a calming effect on the behaviour of those in confrontational situations and encourages compliance from both the public and staff members. Boots stores in some areas where the Reveal body-worn cameras were worn consistently have seen a 45% reduction in incidents of violence and aggression towards store team members.


Supporting the Safety of Lone Workers

Delivery drivers, security guards, in-store personnel and warehouse staff working alone are not only vulnerable but are often left unsupported when dealing with difficult situations. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) found that violence is most commonly triggered when responsible shopworkers and retailers enforce the law, such as age restrictions on regulated products or encountering thieves in-store. Equipping these workers with body-worn cameras provides an extra layer of protection when they need it most.


Improving the Wellbeing and Confidence of Retail Staff

The British Retail Consortium has revealed that the rise in retail crime is causing severe and long-lasting harm to retail workers, including prolonged anxiety and PTSD. Furthermore, the consequence of experiencing violence, abuse, and intimidation seriously impacts retail workers' physical and mental well-being. However, body cameras provide a discreet layer of support, giving staff members confidence and peace of mind throughout their shift and, if required, during confrontational situations. One of the UK’s leading home furnishings retailers reported that 100% of staff felt safer and more confident at work when wearing a body camera and 95% wanted to continue using the Calla body cameras post-trial. While 78% of staff at one of the UK’s largest high-street fashion retailers said that dealing with less risk has had a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.


Capturing First-Hand Video and Audio Recordings

Body-worn video captures the audio and visual recordings in far greater detail than traditional CCTV. This provides increased transparency and accountability of actions and offers valuable and accurate evidence capture. Furthermore, it increases the chance of conviction and minimises the need for lengthy reports and court proceedings. For a leading fashion retailer, our body cameras and DEMS 360 software were key in achieving convictions in six cases involving retail customers that had committed criminal damage.


Enhancing Training and Learning for Retail Staff

Revisiting previous incidents of violence and aggression provides a valuable learning resource to HR, Health & Safety and shop floor teams by helping them understand and identify triggers of aggression. It can also help improve conflict management training so that staff are adequately prepared to approach similar situations safely in the future.


Reducing Profit Loss and Shrinkage

In its latest Retail Crime Survey, the British Retail Consortium found that, the total amount lost to crime in 2022 was £1.5bn. Customer theft was the most significant contributor to this loss, costing the industry more than £663 million. Body cameras provide mobile surveillance that enables you to cover the blind spots that static CCTV cannot reach, deterring shoplifters and thieves and creating valuable business savings.


Chain of Custody for Stock Management

The use of body cameras within warehouses and distribution centres increases transparency, enhances efficiency, and brings more accountability to the supply chain as footage captured by drivers of boxes being loaded and unloaded provides full chain of custody for all stock. Body camera use has proven to reduce the amount of man hours investigating internal processes, saving around three days per month.


Improving Customer Confidence

Creating a safe shopping environment is integral to the customer experience and dramatically influences returning custom. Body-worn cameras provide an impartial witness, acting as a deterrent for violence and abuse for customers and staff. Customers can shop comfortably and with peace of mind knowing that their safety is being considered.


Improving Staff Retention & Attendance at Work

A recent study conducted by the City, University of London examined the impact of violence on shop workers. This report revealed that the strain of constant abuse and fear of physical violence is causing shop workers to change their shift pattern, their place of work, or in some cases, terminate their employment entirely. Equipping staff with body-worn cameras ensures they are supported at all times and have the tools necessary to deter conflict.


Improving Incident Reporting

Body-worn cameras not only de-escalate violence and protect your business, but if staff are faced with an aggressive customer, they provide essential evidence. This evidence presents an independent account of events that reduce time-consuming interviews with staff and speed up the incident reporting procedure to the authorities. The compelling evidence captured with body-worn cameras often means that a resolution (or conviction) is found promptly without unnecessary staff interrogation.