Concerns have been raised that the safety cameras being installed on the ambulances will be recording all the time that the engine is switched. As far as I am aware the system will be working in the same manner as dash-cams which means that there will be a continual loop of what is being viewed. However, the loop is not of indefinite length or duration (same as dash-cams) and when it gets to the end of loop it automatically starts to record over the previous footages.
On a dash-cam, if you wish to preserve a section of footage you have to protect it by pressing a button on the front of the camera when an incident happens or when you upload the card to your computer, you can select a section and save it to your computer. When a member of staff presses the alarm button, it is my understanding that this action “protects” the previous two minutes and the next 5 or 10 minutes. This will help to save what happened to cause the activation of the protect function.
These systems are currently in use with other emergency services and have provided evidence which has help the CPS to prosecute members of the public for assaulting emergency workers and have also proven that emergency drivers were not at fault when involved in a road traffic incident.
There is a small door on the Fiat offside to the left of the driver’s door which will give access to the recording system to authorised persons, when it is installed. Currently the cables are dangling down and not attached to anything because the recording system has not been installed because Trust has still not finalised a Policy to cover CCTV on the ambulances and will not be installing the physical recording devices until such time that a Policy covering the installation, purpose, use, storage, access to data, duration of storage, and has fully trained / authorised Gate Keepers who will be the only persons able to access the recordings.
The cables for the CCTV system that the Trust is introducing, had to be installed during the production phase of the ambulances because of the way that the floor, walls and ceilings are computer–cut and installed to IPC required standards. It is not practical or feasible to retro install the cables after delivery so they had to be installed in the factory. Until such time that a Policy has been jointly agreed and signed off there can be no recordings made by CCTV systems on our ambulances.
I hope this clarifies matters and reassures everyone that Unison Officers will work in partnership with the Trust to agree the CCTV Policy so that it can be signed off and the recording systems installation can be finalised.
Unison Health & Safety Officer