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10 Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras in Retail

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10 Benefits of Body-Worn Cameras in Retail

In the last year alone, the level of violent and abusive incidents against retail associates has skyrocketed, increasing by 26.5% and representing $94.5 billion in losses. The shocking statistics have proven that body-worn cameras go beyond just law enforcement and private security and are essential for protecting front line retail teams too.

Benefit #1

Deterring and De-Escalating Violence and Aggression

Of the 2 million assaults reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies across the country in 2020, more the 82,000 - about 4 percent - occurred in a retail store. The presence of a body camera, especially one with a front-facing screen, is proven to have a calming effect on the behavior of those in confrontational situations and encourages compliance from both the public and staff members. In the UK, Boots stores in some areas where the retail camera is worn consistently have seen a 45% reduction in incidents of violence and aggression towards store team members.

Benefit #2

Supporting the Safety of Lone Workers

Delivery drivers, security guards, in-store personnel and warehouse staff working alone are not only vulnerable but are often left unsupported when dealing with difficult situations. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) reported that violence is most commonly triggered when responsible retail staff and retailers enforce the law, such as age restrictions on regulated products or encountering thieves in-store. Equipping these workers with body-worn cameras provides an extra layer of protection when they need it most.

Benefit #3

Improving the Well-being and Confidence of Retail Associates

The 2022 Retail Associates Mental Health Report has revealed that the rise in retail crime is causing severe and long-lasting harm to retail workers, including prolonged anxiety and PTSD. Furthermore, the consequence of experiencing violence, abuse, and intimidation seriously impacts retail staff physical and mental well-being. However, body cameras provide a discreet layer of support, giving staff members confidence and peace of mind throughout their shift and, if required, during confrontational situations. One of the leading home furnishings retailers reported that 100% of staff felt safer and more confident at work when wearing a body camera and 95% wanted to continue using the Reveal retail body cameras post-trial. While 78% of staff at one of the largest high-street fashion retailers said that dealing with less risk has had a positive impact on their mental well-being.

Benefit #4

Capturing First-Hand Video and Audio Recordings

Body-worn video captures the audio and visual recordings in far greater detail than traditional CCTV. This provides increased transparency and accountability of actions and offers valuable and accurate evidence capture. Furthermore, it increases the chance of conviction and minimizes the need for lengthy reports and court proceedings. For a leading fashion retailer, our body cameras and DEMS 360 software were key in achieving convictions in six cases involving retail customers that had committed criminal damage.

Benefit #5

Enhancing Training and Learning for Retail Associates

Revisiting previous incidents of violence and aggression provides a valuable learning resource to Loss Prevention, Health & Safety and retail teams by helping them understand and identify the triggers of aggression. A body camera can also help improve conflict management training so that staff are adequately prepared to approach similar situations safely in the future.

Benefit #6

Reducing Profit Loss and Shrinkage

In its latest Retail Security Survey, the National Retail Federation found that, the total amount lost to crime in 2021 was $94.5 billion. External theft, including organized retail crime, was the most significant contributor to this loss, costing the industry more than $34.9 billion. Body cameras provide mobile surveillance that enables you to cover the blind spots that static CCTV cannot reach, deterring shoplifters and thieves and creating valuable business savings.

Benefit #7

Chain of Custody for Stock Management

The use of body cameras within warehouses and distribution centers increases transparency, enhances efficiency, and brings more accountability to the supply chain as footage captured by drivers of boxes being loaded and unloaded provides full chain of custody for all stock. Body camera use has proven to reduce the amount of man hours investigating internal processes, saving around three days per month.

Benefit #8

Improving Customer Confidence

Creating a safe shopping environment is integral to the customer experience and dramatically influences the return of customers. Body-worn cameras provide an impartial witness, acting as a deterrent for violence and abuse for customers and staff. Customers can shop comfortably and with peace of mind knowing that their safety is being considered.

Benefit #9

Improving Staff Retention & Attendance at Work

A recent study conducted by Zipline examined how retail associates jobs influenced their mental well-being. This report revealed that the strain of constant abuse and fear of physical violence is causing retail staff to change their shift preference, their place of work, or in some cases, terminate their employment entirely. Equipping staff with body-worn cameras ensures they are supported at all times and have the tools necessary to deter conflict.

Benefit #10

Improving Incident Reporting

Body-worn cameras not only de-escalate violence and protect your staff, customers and business, but when the staff encounter an aggressive customer, they provide essential evidence. This evidence presents an independent account of events that reduce time-consuming interviews with staff and speed up the incident reporting procedure to the authorities. The compelling evidence captured with body-worn cameras often means that a resolution (or conviction) is found promptly without unnecessary staff involvement.

Around the world, Reveal is helping retailers to implement and deploy body camera programs. Our body cameras, which are small and unobtrusive include the signature front-facing screen which has proven to deter aggression and de-escalate incidents. They also act as a crime deterrent in-store and reduce losses. We understand that retailers need to take action to address these issues, and we believe we have the solution. Learn more about our body camera for retail