Ambulance crews in England already wear body-worn cameras to try to reduce attacks on frontline medics. Pic: London Ambulance Service
The Southern Trust security team is trialling body worn cameras at Craigavon Area and Daisy Hill hospitals.
A statement from the Trust said that this was being done "in a bid to reduce violence and aggression against staff".
From October 2021 to March 2022, the team responded to 438 incidents of violence and aggression across both hospitals.
Anita Carroll, Assistant Director of Functional Support Services explained: “We want to support a culture where violence and aggression in health and social care is totally unacceptable and our amazing, dedicated staff always feel safe at work.
“The introduction of body worn cameras aims to act as a deterrent, to reduce and prevent abuse against patients, staff and visitors.
“They will be used in addition to existing security procedures and will only be activated when it is felt that the safety of staff or patients is really compromised. In the event that we do need to record, footage may be used to identify and prosecute offenders if necessary.”
The cameras are the size of a smart phone and will be worn on security porters’ uniforms. They are forward facing, allowing the person to see themselves and potentially modify behaviour. A member of the security team will advise before activating the camera which may act as a further deterrent to help defuse the situation.
The trial is planned for six months with the use of cameras being carefully managed and continually reviewed.
They will not be used in paediatric services.
All data recorded will be processed in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation.