Are Hidden Cameras Making Workers More Efficient?
With the news that postal workers in the UK are to be equipped with miniature cameras to prove they’ve been doing their job properly, will hidden cameras and body worn cameras become more of a common sight in society?
Royal Mail postmen and women will be trialling the installation of cameras hidden in their hand-held computers to help them prove the safe delivery of post and packages. If nobody is in when they attempt to deliver post, and there isn’t a request for it to be left with a neighbour, workers will be able to take photographic evidence of it in a ‘safe place’. The image can then be emailed to customers on request, or if they make a complaint about their goods not turning up.
If the trial is a success then it’s expected that other public workers such as parking attendants and police officers could also be carrying concealed cameras. Will this news pave the way for more widespread use of spy equipment in ensuring that workers’ rights and claims are protected? Which industries would benefit from this the most?
Local councils in the UK are responsible for allocating monetary benefits to those people in their area who need it the most, whether that be because they are too ill to work or are currently job-seeking. This can often be a thankless task and one that requires a high level of surveillance to make sure the money goes to the right people. Anyone committing benefits fraud will be very aware of their wrongdoings and sometimes even revel in the fact that they are getting away with it.
Body worn hidden cameras would come in very handy for local council workers who have to deal with benefits fraud – they could catch the criminal in the act during altercations and let the benefits cheat incriminate themselves.
While your local traffic warden may not be everyone’s favourite person, they still have a job to do. In 2014 the CCTV cars that were being used to clamp down on illegal parking were banned after over-zealous parking attendants began to force people out of smaller towns, but concealed cameras could still come in very handy. Many people who are issued with a parking ticket will dispute it, with over 25,000 fine appeals registered in 2014, so often a traffic warden will need back up.
Much like the proposed postmen cameras, this will protect their claims as workers as well as act as a deterrent for illegal parkers. Not only that, but with physical attacks on traffic wardens up by 400% since 2011, the need for protection (and evidence) has become increasingly apparent.
The burly men that decide who’s getting into their establishment that night are often considered the hardest people to get past. But will alcohol-fuelled groups increasingly attacking club bouncers and doormen, it’s starting to seem likely that they’ll be employing the use of cameras soon enough. Some areas, such as Chelmsford in Essex and the city of Wolverhampton, the bouncers have already started to use body worn cameras.
They are designed to record audio and video and assist in identifying those involved in mass brawls and individual attacks on bouncers or fellow nightclub-goers. The bouncers in Wolverhampton have CCTV signs up to make revellers aware of their cameras and have seen an 80% fall in crime.
While employing the use of spy cameras may be the perfect solution to some of the difficulties faced in certain industries, it could definitely help make life easier for the workers. The Royal Mail’s postal workers are trialling this in the hope that it proves they’ve been doing their jobs properly, and it’s interesting to consider who else would benefit. As long as workers act in accordance with spy laws, it could become a more common fixture in our workers’ inventories.