As delivered to Community’s Biennial Delegate Conference in Belfast on June 1st 2022.
Conference, Nick Hunt speaking for the NEC in supporting Motion 22 on body worn cameras.
Conference, my union colleagues spoke yesterday on the usage of technology in the workplace. It can be positive, or it can be negative.
One way in which technological developments has made the world of work better is the introduction of body worn cameras.
Nobody should face intimidation, threats or violence in undertaking their jobs. Yet the sad reality is, this is becoming more and more prevalent.
Assaults in our prisons remain unacceptably high as my colleagues before me have highlighted. As Community’s own research shows, the vast majority of these assaults result in no consequences for the perpetrator. This has to change. And body worn cameras are one way to make that change.
Some services are already utilising body worn cameras to positive effect. Our police are just one example, using this new technology to protect officers and the public.
Yet many workers in the justice and custodial sector still do not have body worn cameras as a standard part of their working life.
Make no mistake, this puts them in danger, and ensures that assaults against them continue to go unpunished.
By supporting this motion, Community will lobby the government to ensure that prison escort services workers always have access to the protective equipment they need, including body worn cameras.
We will also work with employers to discuss the challenges and risks that officer in PECs face, and deliver body worn cameras for all.
Conference, technology can make work safer for those in our justice and custodial sector – the government just has to act to make it so. Community will be there to ensure that they do. Thank you.