Help Forum

Help requested posted on 30th January 2020:

Body cameras for Bikeability Instructors

We are just looking at the possibility of using body cameras with our Bikeability Instructors as we do with our SCP's.

Would be good to speak to anyone that is currently doing this or may be considering it please.

We are particularly thinking about instructors that do 121 training. We had an incident recently where one of our instructors was carrying out a 121 session with a young lad and was subjected to verbal abuse by a gang of youths, had objects thrown at him and was threatened with a knife!

Any thoughts on this would be welcome.

Many thanks
Dean

Dean Pocock

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Response posted on 30th January 2020 by:
John Barry

E: john.barry668@gmail.com
T:

Body cameras for Bikeability Instructors

As you have stated you have been both verbally and fiscally abused I would say it was a no brainier


Response posted on 3rd February 2020 by:
Rebecca James

E: rebecca.james@leeds.gov.uk
T:

Body cameras for Bikeability Instructors

Hi Dean, We contract our Bikeability service out, but I checked with our provider and their response was

No, this isn't something we'd currently consider. I don't think that we've ever had an incident when a body camera would have been useful, it would be distracting for the group and we'd need express permission from the parent/guardian of each child we work with. I feel the downsides would far outweigh any benefits.

NOt sure whether that helps or not, but just wanted to let you know the views from Leeds.


Response posted on 5th February 2020 by:
David S

E: David.sharp@midlothian.gov.uk
T:

Body cameras for Bikeability Instructors

Would helmet cameras be better? Perhaps less distracting/off-putting for trainees but still good to collect evidence of any threats/danger (especially from inconsiderate drivers).


Response posted on 6th February 2020 by:
Philippa Robb

E: philippa.robb@gmail.com
T:

Body cameras for Bikeability Instructors

Gosh Dean - what an awful situation for the instructor. As a female instructor who has been working in all urban settings across London with all ages and all backgrounds, the LAST thing I'd want is a camera on me!!!!! Our industry is about communicating a wonderful form of enabling, empowering, clean, healthy, uplifting road use to members of the public. Cameras would create an awful barrier and engender unnecessary fear. We are under enough surveillance already in this society. Leave body cameras on police officers (who I hope were called out in this situation) and other frontline services like soldiers and paramedics. Are you retraining the NSI? Is there a CPD refresher s/he can get on risk assessing/managing? As a rather mature instructor of nearly 13 years, I've always gone by the maxim of "if it doesn't feel right, it isn't right". Every single time I've been correct. Cameras are not a risk assessing or managing tool. They are a surveillance tool. I'd be deeply, deeply dismayed if you decided they were the answer to what is in reality a massively unusual incident. I'm sorry you're being presented with this challenge but I really hope you don't go down the surveillance route. Px


Response posted on 6th February 2020 by:
Colin Savage

E: colin.savage@devon.gov.uk
T: 01392383000

Body cameras for Bikeability Instructors

Hi Dean
The incident sounds awful.

Neither our SCPs or Bikeability Instructors have body cams. The topic crops up in both camps from time to time but incidents of verbal abuse towards either groups are infrequent(maybe it's a Devon thing) and for us, now, does not justify the concerns, legalities, resource and data storage associated with body cams especially when the footage would include children.


We only deliver 1-1 Bikeability training with young people if there is an additional adult present.

As an aside, though, we are working with the Police on Operation Snap - "a secure online facility which allows submissions of video and photographic evidence relating to driving incidents that members of the public have witnessed"


https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact/contact-forms/operation-snap-dashcam-footage/


Response posted on 5th March 2020 by:
Peter Wedlake

E: Peter.wedlake@kent.gov.uk
T:

Body cameras for Bikeability Instructors

Dean, I know that our SCPs have considered these to catch evidence of dangerous drivers etc but have been deterred by all the downloading of material/secure storage requirements etc.

I echo the concerns re usage in Bikeability becoming a barrier to learning, requiring consent, generating safeguarding concerns etc.

One further point is that from a risk assessment/safeguarding perspective my Instructors do NOT work 121 with children. In most cycle training settings the Instructors are deployed in pairs to safeguard one another, and work more effectively as a result. Your incident appears to highlight a lone working risk.


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