Convictions for violence against health workers secured due to PR5
Violence in A&E
A&E is a service under pressure and it is burdened further by members of the public who abuse and attack staff. Cardiff and Vale health board records up to 3000 incidents of physical and verbal abuse against staff every year. They have recently introduced the Pinnacle Response PR5 camera in a bid to combat violence against health workers and when necessary facilitate conviction.
Endorsed by South Wales Police
In the weeks since they’ve been introduced the cameras have already led to prosecutions. Tessa Gould, Acting Inspector for South Wales Police firmly endorsed the use of the cameras in interviews today for the BBC and ITN “We’ve had convictions as a direct result of the footage and we’ve also been able to secure restraining orders, which is helping us to keep the staff here safe and keep the people of Cardiff safe.”
Case Manager, Carl Ball who provides support to staff who have been attacked or abused, said, “The audio aspect of the mini cameras is “vital” when it comes to successful prosecutions. The cameras were introduced because of the level of abuse, threats and violence against NHS staff.
“Recently, we had an incident happen on a Friday night where staff were assaulted. The Police became involved and thanks to the partnership working, the defendants appeared in court the following Monday and received an eighteen month custodial sentence. This is an excellent example showing that violence towards our staff will not be tolerated.”
Attitudes Toward Staff Improved
The cameras were brought in so that security staff could warn people who were being aggressive that they were being recorded. Body-worn cameras have been proven to encourage modified behaviour. If necessary the footage will then be used in a criminal prosecution. Staff have experienced a definite improvement in attitudes towards them since they started wearing the cameras. Situations are deescalated, incidents rates are falling and for those who persist with anti-social behaviour prosecution is a certainty. Footage from the cameras allows the health board to supply verifiable evidence direct to the police. "If someone is being abusive or violent, we notify them about the camera and once they know it's filming them, they back down," said security team leader David James. "It's an excellent deterrent to protect our staff."
Jacqui Westmoreland, a junior sister at the University Hospital Wales Emergency unit said today;
"Personally I’ve been kicked, I’ve been punched. I’ve been quite lucky a few times just to dodge the fists that are flying, it’s very disturbing”.
“Now the security have the cameras on them it's very good. Once it’s on film they’ve got the evidence needed for prosecution, it’s documented.."
Ease of Use Highlighted
The PR5 body-mounted device was selected for it’s ease of use in a volatile situation; the wearer intuitively swipes the shutter down to begin recording instantly. The ITN report this evening highlighted not only the quality of the footage from the PR5, but also the audio pick up - essential for proving the nature of the abuse against staff.
The full Cardiff & Vale Health Board press release can be viewed here.
The ITN report can be viewed here.
BBC report here.