What makes Reveal cameras unique is the incorporation of a front-facing screen; so when the camera is activated, the person being recorded in front of the camera can see what the lens is seeing.
Mike Jennings from Reveal explains: “Our front-facing screen is installed as standard on all our camera models because it is proven to de-escalate events, often before any physical aggression has taken place. When we are angry, or losing control, we are not ourselves, and so when we see that reaction presented back to us, most of us have the instinct to modify and control that behaviour.”
Bristol Ambulance’s Ryan Maunder explains: “The cameras are visible – you can see them on the uniform – so in my opinion, just their presence is enough to get some people to moderate their behaviour. However, there are studies that confirm people actually calm down much quicker when they can see an image of themselves on-screen. So the Reveal front-facing screen is a great design as it might help de-escalate events before any physical aggression has taken place.”
Reveal Account Manager, Gary Brown: “We gave the team at Bristol Ambulance Bristol a free 4-week trial of our D3 cameras. These are the cameras first designed for in-the-field police officers – so they are still lightweight. But they have a longer battery life; are suitable for all weather, they are tough; have an articulated camera head so you can wear them on your jacket, shoulder lapels, hat – lots of options. The footage is superb, and the front facing screen much larger than on our smaller cameras.”
Ryan agrees: “What we also liked about the D3 was its ability to pre-record. The cameras are so easy to activate – basically a big red switch – but in the heat of a quickly escalating incident it’s understandable that someone might “miss” the triggering behaviour of aggression. Reveal’s D3 actually pre-record up to 60 seconds of footage. It does it constantly but then deletes the material if the camera is not activated. But if the camera is, you know you have that minute running up to the incident securely documented, and that can be vital if this later becomes key evidence in a prosecution.”
The trial allowed Bristol Ambulance crews to use the cameras in live situations - ensuring day and night shifts would have the same level of service.
On-site and remote training sessions were run with Reveal for staff, covering camera usage, software, GDPR compliance, and accessing the encrypted footage in emergency situations.
Working in the IT department, Ryan was also looking for a solution to evidence management:
“The potential to de-escalate was really attractive to us, but there will be incidents where we need to help the police follow up on incidents of abuse and violence against our staff. I really liked Reveal’s DEMs 360 software as it makes the process of uploading footage to our cloud storage really simple for the crew back at base; they plug it into the special docking station to charge and the camera software does the rest. It ensures access to the encrypted content is only available to assigned administrators.
And of course, while they have the power to redact or blur some material – say faces or number plates if sharing material with police or CPS – that video material is encrypted. No one can edit or manipulate it.”
When the trial proved a success, Ryan’s team went ahead and ordered 24 body-worn cameras enabling all their paramedic crews to have access to one. The wearing of the cameras is not mandatory, but every member of the crews have chosen to use them consistently.
Ryan again; “The crews have taken really well to them. I am not surprised: the cameras feel really good in your hand. People like having them. In fact, the Reveal user experience has been well thought out, which makes the cameras a pleasure to use in the field, or back at base.”