The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) is consulting on the principle of the use of body worn video cameras for staff (for violence prevention and reduction purposes).
Last year, we launched our Strategy to Transform 2020-2026, which identified a number of key priorities and how we intend to transform our service to deliver these and improve the care we provide for our patients.
One of our key priorities is in relation to our workforce and, in particular, addressing the safety of our staff as we go about our normal day-to-day activities.
In 2020/21 a total of 629 incidents of violence and aggression were recorded against our staff. Staff safety is paramount and the Trust takes violence and aggression towards any member of staff very seriously.
Over the past year, our Violence Prevention and Reduction Group has been developing a supporting strategy to provide the Trust with a range of specific projects and reviews which have identified a number of key actions that will help drive change. One of these projects is to consider the implementation of Body Worn Video (BWV).
This initial consultation process is designed to examine the principle of BWV being introduced to NIAS. While initial draft assessments of equality, human rights, rural needs and privacy impacts have been conducted, and skeleton frameworks for deployment and usage – including high-level approaches to governance are outlined, it is the Trust’s intention to complete and consider this first consultation exercise about the principle of BWV, after which – subject to positive consultation engagement – a second consultation exercise would then be undertaken in 2022 that fully considers the detail of factors like deployment, usage, governance, policy and procedure. The Trust recognises the scale of culture shift involved in the proposal that NIAS employees would wear portable recording devices. That is why the second consultation will be informed by this current exercise.