THE 12-strong security team at Poole’s Dolphin Shopping Centre have been issued with personal body cameras.

The discreet lapel cameras are the latest video technology and their aim is to improve customer service and ensure shopper safety.

Notices have gone up across the town centre mall informing shoppers that not only are there fixed cameras in the centre but moving cameras as well.

The video cameras, small enough to be worn on the body, have been issued to security guards in the hope they will become vital pieces of equipment during an emergency or evacuation, deter anti-social behaviour and problems with individuals.

There has not been a rise in the number of reported incidents in the centre and although they will not be recording all the time, guards wearing the equipment will display a badge that CCTV is in operation.

“We believe that the use of body camera technology will help improve customer service and act as a deterrent which in turn will help to reduce incidents,” said Matthew Spencer, security supervisor and a member of the security team at the centre.

“The footage can also provide additional support to the police and provide vital evidence,” he said.

The cameras record high definition digital images in the same way as traditional CCTV systems, as well as sound.

Security staff have received extensive training in using the devices and will warn people in advance of their intention to record a situation, whether it’s a lost child, evacuation or acts of anti-social behaviour.

Centre manager John Grinnell said: “The body cameras are a worthwhile investment in the latest video device technology offering high quality footage, including clear audio.

“The camera isn’t bulky or heavy and contains sufficient amount of battery/footage memory for our operation.”