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July 19, 2023


Safety on the railway is a top priority for Britain's rail industry and all train operating companies (TOC) involved in its operation. Committed to keeping the rail networks one of the safest networks globally, these companies, its staff, and a range of overseeing personnel tirelessly work towards delivering on this promise. Each TOC has specific duties regarding managing safety and ensuring compliance with all regulations and standards. The industry is also constantly working to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on trains and stations by implementing changes in its operations that focus on improving safety and supporting commuters.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) a leadership organisation comprised of Chief Executives from the UK's passenger and freight rail companies, and Network Rail. The RDG's primary purpose is to enhance the rail industry's overall performance and service delivery by providing leadership and support by promoting best practices in safety, security, operations and customer service. Unfortunately, the Rail Safety and Standards Board reports that “exposure to work-related violence and other traumatic events is a reality for many rail workers. We need improved reporting and better data analysis to identify and pre-empt key challenges. Improvements mean people feel safer and more supported in their jobs”.

Violence on the UK rail network has become a phenomenon of epidemic proportions in the last few years. According to a survey of Night Tube workers carried out in 2018 by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), more than 88% of workers have been victims of verbal abuse, with one in three women and one in five men experiencing physical assault. To combat these serious challenges, body cameras have become integral to enhancing public safety on Britain's railways and have proven to be effective tools in deterring criminal behaviour and providing valuable evidence to support investigations.

HALO’s body camera solution has aided TOC’s in the consequential challenges it faces daily by capturing footage of evidence, offering a reliable account of incidents, helping law enforcement and rail staff address safety concerns promptly. One of the significant benefits of body cameras is their ability to improve safety protocols. These cameras enable staff to identify potential hazards and address them before they escalate into more significant issues. The presence of body cameras increases accountability for both staff and passengers, as everyone is aware that their actions and behaviours can be recorded as evidence if an incident occurs. This awareness fosters a safer environment and discourages inappropriate conduct on the network.

Moreover, the deployment of body cameras has had a positive impact on the working conditions for frontline rail staff. By aiding in the reduction of the number of abuse cases, these body cameras contribute to creating a safer and more supportive work environment. Railway workers can perform their duties with more confidence, knowing that incidents of misconduct are less likely to occur and that there is concrete evidence available if needed. Third party agencies like local Police Forces specifically the British Transport Police (BTP) also benefit greatly from the use of body cameras across the UK rail network. The footage captured by these devices provides valuable information to prevent and investigate suspicious activities or incidents. Becoming an increasingly valuable resource for intelligence-led policing, allowing authorities to proactively address potential threats and ensure the safety of the railway network.

“The HALO bodycam secures cases against offenders, but more importantly, it safeguards our staff. We have seen a decrease in assaults, of which I am certain that body-worn cameras play a massive part”. - Ray Mercer - Area Revenue Protection Officer, Merseyrail

Transparency is another crucial aspect improved by body cameras. The presence of body cameras fosters greater public participation, as people feel more confident reporting incidents and sharing their concerns. The transparency offered by body cameras helps build trust in train operating companies, as the public can see that actions are being taken to address safety issues.

The adoption of advanced body cameras with features such as live streaming, GPS, and fast footage upload has further enhanced public safety on the railways. HALO’s Live streaming capabilities enable an immediate response to emergencies or incidents, as relevant personnel can assess the situation in real time and deploy resources accordingly. HALO’s Global Positioning System ensures the whereabouts of staff if an incident occurs, enabling quick assistance in case of emergencies. Vault, HALO’s data storage and management software allows supervisors and management to monitor ongoing situations and provide guidance as needed as the situation unfolds or subsequently for training purposes.

“When using the footage for investigation purposes, local management has found the imagery and audio quality significantly improved in comparison to prior technology”.

- Candice Green, Business Change Manager at CrossCountry Trains

In conclusion, body cameras have become an indispensable tool in ensuring public safety on Britain's railways. Their effectiveness in deterring criminal behaviour, providing evidence for investigations, improving safety protocols, and increasing accountability has made them an essential part of the TOC’s efforts to keep passengers and employees safe. The adoption of advanced body cameras with additional features has further enhanced their benefits and solidified their role in the industry's commitment to technological advancements and safety.