Europa is trialling a new body worn camera, Zepcam, which streams live footage and audio from the security officer wearing it to the control room.
The camera aims to help protect staff and liability, record verbal abuse and intimidation and help to prevent slip and trip claims. According to the manufacturer, it is unobtrusive, low cost and easy to use and produces high quality images that can be used by the police to identify individuals.
“The main security challenges in a shopping centre environment involve the public. You have to make them feel safe and secure,” says Europa head of security, Ian Pugh. “It’s my job as head of security to look at innovations and integrate the latest technology with our manned guarding services to benefit our clients.
“Zepcam has worked well in diffusing potentially dangerous situations. If a boisterous youth is involved, they often calm down when they realise they’re on camera so it acts as a deterrent.”
Pugh says Zepcam, supplied by Interconnective Security Products, is the first live body camera currently in operation in UK shopping centres. Other body worn cameras on the market store footage, which has to be downloaded at the end of each shift or after an incident, rather than streamed live via Wi-Fi.
“We have a lot of clients in the retail and shopping centre sectors and they’re really interested in Zepcam,” says Pugh. “It has both security and health & safety benefits, it makes the public feel at ease, it acts as a warning to potential troublemakers and it has improved interaction between the patrol guards and those in the control room.”
Pugh says the trial has produced good feedback and Zepcam will be deployed on a client by client basis over the coming months.