Bouncers across Oxford are starting to wear body cameras
There has already been an investment of over £4000
16 body cameras for bouncers were rolled out across the city centre and Cowley last night with view to invest in more if they prove a success.
Students will start seeing bouncers with Met office standard body cameras pointed at them when they visit their favourite club, pub or bar.
In an effort to prevent more incidences, Pub Watch Oxford has issued 16 body cams to the biggest venues in Oxford and Cowley giving bouncers another tool to help keep everyone safe on nights out.
The venues they are being use are the Lighthouse, the Oxford Retreat, the Cowley Retreat, The Bridge, Thirst, Varsity, Emporium, Purple Turtle, Maxwell’s, JT’s, The Lodge, Wig and Pen, O’Neil’s, Four Candles, Lola Lo’s and Taxi Marshalls.
The cameras are being installed as a prevention technique, hoping that they will deescalate situations before they happen.
They will be worn on a very visible harness that lights up so it will be obvious who is wearing them.
They also will not record constantly, but will require the bouncer to press a record button when they believe a situation requires evidence.
At the press release for the B-Cam cameras on the 27th in Thirst bar, The Tab Brookes managed to speak to the people who have been coordinating the release of the cameras: Felix Richter, the general manger of PT and vice chair of Pub Watch, Yas Hunter, general manager of Thirst and the chair of Pub Watch, James Knox, managing director of Safe Security.
The three were clear that these cameras are being put in place as a “prevention device” and hope that instead of just catching more drunk revellers misbehaving, the cameras will keep situations under control and hopefully lower the number of incidences that happen in the city centre on a night out.
Yas was also keen to point out that these cameras will not only be used as evidence against clubbers, but also to keep door staff accountable for their actions.
However, the cameras do not continuously record and so it will down to the door staff to decide what is recorded and what isn’t.
One concern these cameras do bring to students looking to enjoy their nights out is whether they are going to be recorded when it is not necessary and feel like they are in a twisted version of Big Brother.
Rest assured, all the footage recorded on these cameras will be automatically loaded on to an encrypted system, and if need be the police can have access to the footage.
When asked about this year’s freshers, all three agreed that they have been an extremely fun year with no major incidents which would suggest the city was in need of body cameras.
We also inquired about their thoughts on the closing of Wahoo. James was very quick to point out that it is not just an isolated incident, but a local and national trend with big names in the nightlife scene disappearing like Fabric in London and more importantly Warehouse in Oxford.
Yas explained that it is sad for the entire industry to see somewhere like Wahoo close and it puts extra strain on current venues with an extra 750 people being displaced into the clubs surrounding it.
Hopefully with these 750 people cramming into other clubs these new body cameras will be there to prevent any unfortunate incidences from happening.
Photos courtesy of Josh Parker.