Duncan Miles, head of security at Iceland, explained how crimes against the business, such as the issues of robbery and burglary, have been decreasing in recent years.
However, offences against the retailer’s staff, including physical assaults, verbal abuse and threatening behaviour, had been slowly on the rise.
He said at least 80 per cent of such offences occurred towards the security officers when dealing with acts of shoplifting, disgruntled customers and nuisance situations.
Iceland’s security team wanted a means of deterring and shifting such crimes, while also giving themselves the ability to take necessary action against any perpetrators. The company opted to equip its security staff with body-worn video cameras from Pinnacle Response.
The PR5 body-worn video camera has no wires, buttons or screens and boasts the ability for 720p high-definition full-colour recording at 30fps, with five hours of recording time.
The wire-free self-contained unit offers a widescreen 101 degrees angle lens and optimised sound quality to benefit any action taken against perpetrators. It weighs only 120g and easily clips onto a guard’s uniform.
Miles explained how, after a short demonstration, the cameras were trialled in two Iceland stores that were experiencing proportionately high levels of crime against their staff and were found to have a positive impact.
He said having a camera that moves around a store offers huge benefits to Iceland, and recording the entire duration of detaining an offender can also remove any “nonsense” claims against the retailer’s staff – adding a further level of protection for the company.
There are now over 70 Iceland stores benefitting from the body-worn cameras and this will be expanded to an additional 120 this year.
Miles said: “Our security officers found the camera is easy to operate and to download the high quality footage, including clear audio. The camera isn’t bulky or heavy, and contains sufficient amount of battery/footage memory for our operation.
“The deterrent value has been amazing; many incidents that would have escalated into abuse and violence have been avoided – offenders just don’t seem to want to kick off when they are told they are being recorded.
“Local feedback from the Police has been fantastic; for us to provide visual and verbal evidence has increased prosecution capabilities.”