Enhancing School Security Through Body Cameras And Cctv

 Early ideas about how the technology would be implemented around the pair of unnamed schools are being looked into; however, a plan that has already been touted is that the trial would see teachers wearing the cameras on their clothes. While the camera would be filming at all times, a switch on the device would need to be activated in order for incidents to be recorded and encrypted footage saved.

As a result of this design, any teachers who are making use of a body camera are being advised that they should switch their cameras to recording mode whenever they feel cautious that a “low-level” incident is taking place. Furthermore, teachers are also being made aware of the fact that notice will need to be given before they begin any recording.

Commenting on this strategy, Tom Ellis, a principal lecturer at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at Portsmouth University, acknowledged: “There’s very much an emphasis on getting rid of low-level disruption or disorder in the classroom.”

The trial in the UK schools follows on from schools throughout the US previously adopting similar technology. There has also been a comparable strategy seen across the policing sector, whereby Greater Manchester Police and the Metropolitan Police Service have been pioneering the introduction of body worn video technology through both helmet and vest-mounted cameras. Further details about the latter strategy can be discovered via this Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board article.

Mr Ellis believes that introducing body cameras into classrooms across the UK can prove just as effective as the strategies that have been looked into at US schools and by the UK’s police forces. He explained: “It can be used for self-reflection. It can be shown back to the pupil, one-on-one, and that can have a positive impact without the need to resort to disciplinary process.”

 

Teachers in the UK also appear to be largely in favour of bringing body cameras into the country’s schools, if a TES poll reported on by the Independent involving more than 600 teachers is anything to go on.

According to the study, 37.7 per cent of teachers expressed that they were in favour of introducing body cameras into the classroom and around two-thirds were confident that such surveillance technology would make them feel safer in their working environment. 10.9 per cent even went as far as to state that they reckon there will come a time when the devices will become compulsory in schools.

While the use of body cameras in classrooms is a new idea, it should also be noted that CCTV systems have already been seen in schools across the UK in the following guises:

·         Video Content Analysis systems so that analysis of CCTV images can be carried out, in order to provide meaningful information. For example…

v  The identification of whether objects have been removed from a certain area of the school.

v  The analysis of CCTV images in order to identify specific patterns, like smoke when addressing arson attacks.

v  The ability to establish virtual tripwires that trigger an alert, should someone attempt to cross a specific boundary – eliminating the need to erect walls or fencing at these locations.

·         CCTV in classrooms to address issues of bullying and also assist with teacher training — for the latter, this technology can be used as an alternative to having a teaching colleague present in the classroom throughout the entire lesson.

·         Access control systems  which are specifically designed for educational establishments, so that security personnel can keep updated about who is in a facility once they have been added to turnstiles, gates and barriers throughout the institute.

 

     
   
   
 
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