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Filming interaction with on board staff

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bramling

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I would presume like you that it was, in which case the footage was not released 'to prove a political point' but to refute an allegation of poor service by a private company (an allegation which was itself made with the sole purpose of proving a political point!)

I do wonder whether those believing railway staff are fair game for being filmed while on duty would be happy for complete strangers to film them at work?

On the latter point, if one works in a role which is essentially in the public domain then it’s a reasonable expectation that you are going to appear in photos or videos.

This isn’t a problem, and shouldn’t be. However becoming the sole focus of the footage is.
 
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Krokodil

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My issue with all this is that, as I see it, the spread of staff wearing body cams encourages people to do the same.
Twaddle. People have been brandishing camera phones at police officers and railway staff ever since camera phones were invented. No connection with bodycams.
To be honest I hope body cams are a craze which will come and go once the novelty wears off. My only exception is for revenue staff, where there is a need to collect specific evidence.
Well if certain passengers wouldn't aim sharp objects at us, or subject us to homophobic abuse, we wouldn't feel the need to wear devices to capture evidence of them doing so, would we?
You repeatedly use phrases like "shoving a phone into someones face".

Is that just how you see any incident where a member of staff is deliberately filmed? And if so isn't that what's happening to a passenger when a body cam is turned on?
Have you seen the body language and attitude of some people when they do this? It's hardly comparable to just wearing a small device with a few lights and which squeaks occasionally.
 

nap666

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Working in events industry, have found that phones are out whenever there is any interaction between security & spectators, trying to get staff too ignore them and just do the job has always been a challenge. Only thing I wish they would do is get my best side:D
I introduced bodycams to a Football club after a number of racial instances, they have been useful to make both staff and spectators think twice especially after we used them in a case.
 

Kilopylae

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I agree, although it’s probably more subtle to make a voice note of the encounter. I was more referring to Haywain’s comment in agreement.
Is it legal to record someone secretly like that? (As opposed to a video, where they know you're filming). It feels dodgy - if I was worried I'd ask them to sign my ticket or I'd just make a mental note of their name badge and where we were standing.
 

reb0118

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Is it legal to record someone secretly like that?

Yes, you can covertly record any conversation that you are a participant of. However, you can not record the conversations of others where you are not directly involved - unless of course you have a court warrant or other such authority.
 

rs101

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Because it’s unnecessarily proactive and doesn’t add anything to the situation. The guard is identifiable by the train they’re working, you have the ticket as evidence, and you can complain through the official channels.

Do you think it’s acceptable in any other walk of life to poke your phone at someone while you interact with then because “what harm will it do”? Would you do it in your local supermarket/off license/cafe, or whatever?

Depending on context (imagine a middle aged male filming an attractive young member of staff) you might also find yourself suspected of being some sort of creep.

Having a permanent record of what was actually said at the time (rather than having to rely on recollections) may be very useful indeed to the customer wishing to make the complaint. If an employee is behaving in an unprofessional manner and not following the company's published procedures, they can suddenly and miraculously change their behaviour when a phone appears.

I've had that once when checking in for a flight - staff refused to let me take a medical device on board, claiming I needed to pre-notify, even though the airline's website clearly states there's no need. I already had my phone out to show them the website, without any success. Soon as I said "would you mind me recording you denying me access to the flight with this", they suddenly decided I was okay to board. I still put a complaint in to the airline who agreed their employee was completely out of line and doubled my reward miles for that ticket as an apology. Meant my next flight to the US was business class, not cattle..
 

zwk500

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Soon as I said "would you mind me recording you denying me access to the flight with this", they suddenly decided I was okay to board.
There is always a certain dark humour when something like that happens. I'm glad the airline gave you something reasonable in compensation.
 

bramling

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Twaddle. People have been brandishing camera phones at police officers and railway staff ever since camera phones were invented. No connection with bodycams.

My point is that it’s harder to justify discouraging this practice when staff are doing exactly the same, with the only difference being reliance on the argument that their recordings are more strictly controlled. We know for a fact that not all CCTV is as strictly controlled as is made out.


Well if certain passengers wouldn't aim sharp objects at us, or subject us to homophobic abuse, we wouldn't feel the need to wear devices to capture evidence of them doing so, would we?

Hence why I said elsewhere that I reluctantly accept them for those in higher risk roles.

However their use has spread beyond that, and we certainly shouldn’t be looking to make this part and parcel of every interaction we have with someone in a people-facing role.
 

AdamWW

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Having a permanent record of what was actually said at the time (rather than having to rely on recollections) may be very useful indeed to the customer wishing to make the complaint. If an employee is behaving in an unprofessional manner and not following the company's published procedures, they can suddenly and miraculously change their behaviour when a phone appears.

I've had that once when checking in for a flight - staff refused to let me take a medical device on board, claiming I needed to pre-notify, even though the airline's website clearly states there's no need. I already had my phone out to show them the website, without any success. Soon as I said "would you mind me recording you denying me access to the flight with this", they suddenly decided I was okay to board. I still put a complaint in to the airline who agreed their employee was completely out of line and doubled my reward miles for that ticket as an apology. Meant my next flight to the US was business class, not cattle..

I suspect part of the issue in this thread is that people very rarely if ever ask for something to be stated on camera as you describe above, whereas using filming in an confrontational way does happen.

Therefore some people on this thread are assuming that it must be about people filming aggressively - which was not my intention.

From my point of view as a passenger (which will be different I'm sure from train staff who have to put with all sorts of unpleasant behaviour) I think there's a reasonable argument that if a staff member is sure that I have an invalid ticket they should be prepared to be recorded saying so.

It's all very well saying that I should just put in a complaint afterwards but then it just becomes my word against the staff member. And just because I can show a valid ticket dated before the encounter, that doesn't prove that I showed it at the time - somebody else might have been using it then.

I mentioned above a guard threatening an elderly couple with prison for failure to show a railcard and it was suggested that I misunderstood the conversation. I'm sure I didn't, but I expect that's what the guard would have said if I'd put in a formal complaint.
 

43066

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It's all very well saying that I should just put in a complaint afterwards but then it just becomes my word against the staff member. And just because I can show a valid ticket dated before the encounter, that doesn't prove that I showed it at the time - somebody else might have been using it then.

For that matter a video of the encounter, which could have been shot at any time and potentially edited, doesn’t prove anything useful either.

I mentioned above a guard threatening an elderly couple with prison for failure to show a railcard and it was suggested that I misunderstood the conversation. I'm sure I didn't, but I expect that's what the guard would have said if I'd put in a formal complaint.

As noted above, we only have your interpretation of something you overheard. With all due respect, as noted by others, you do have a tendency to take things out of context even on this forum, so it’s possible that’s what happened here. It seems highly unlikely that a guard would threaten anyone with prison, and I suspect the couple were told something along the lines of prosecution being a possibility if revenue had jumped on.

As for a “formal complaint” based on an overheard conversation, which was nothing to do with complainer, and which may well have been misunderstood/taken out of context, I doubt the guard would even have been asked.
 

Sm5

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I do wonder whether those believing railway staff are fair game for being filmed while on duty would be happy for complete strangers to film them at work?
its becoming increasingly common for office workers to agree to having cameras turned on, in addition to cpu time and keyboard activity logged.

Retailers have been used to being watched at their cash registers for decades.

As for strangers… try being a celebrity and not being filmed.
 

matt_world2004

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I've been filmed while ar work, apart from feeling a little awkward. Kind of have to respect their right to do it usually they get bored when nothing interesting happens
 

RHolmes

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its becoming increasingly common for office workers to agree to having cameras turned on, in addition to cpu time and keyboard activity logged.

Retailers have been used to being watched at their cash registers for decades.
There’s a difference between being filmed by your employer, who’s legally obliged to store data on you (including CCTV footage) safely and securely with correct disposal procedures, and being filmed by a stranger.
 

RJ

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Somebody got their husband to come down to the station and film me because I refused to issue a refund on a ticket that she had used already but felt she should have her money back because part of the journey was on a planned rail replacement bus. He said he’d put it on Youtube but I explained we don’t refund used tickets and that they may wish to contact Customer Services for clarification, then I closed my blind.

I can withstand the attempts of antagonistic people to a degree they often don’t expect if it benefits me to do so. The filming thing is an occupational hazard and as annoying as it can be, it can’t go very far if your conduct is correct and you remain professional.

In some cases however, people who act unprofessionally and rely on there being no proof to get away with it absolutely hate being filmed. It’s entirely understandable why they hate it, but that’s a them problem and getting a camera out can be a very effective method of correcting incorrect or unprofessional conduct immediately without it having to go further.
 
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I carry a body cam daily, I don’t use it often and generally only in cases where I find a ticketing irregularity I feel might need evidence and even then if it can be resolved amicably I don’t use it, someone who is vulnerable, aggressive/violent scenarios and accidents or injuries
I generally find for anyone angry, intoxicated or being generally difficult having it on acts as a really good deterrent and de-escalation tool

If I feel the need to activate it I’ll inform the people concerned, giving the relevant reason for doing so

I’ve no problem being filmed back or someone filming for any reason, obviously if things escalate a little then it can become an issue (had someone grab my ID card on a lanyard and filming that whilst standing so close I could smell their breath)

Potentially I may make a mistake, have the wrong information or do something wrong whilst being filmed, if I’m getting something wrong (filmed or not) I’ll happily accept the criticism and learn from it, also knowing I have a full record of a discussion/incident for a complaint either way is kind of a comfort at work
If people want to film me then I’m not overly fussed, as long as it’s not in my personal space (as my body cam wouldn’t be to them) and we’re not playing an “auditor” style game of ask so many questions you can’t reply then I’m ok with it
 

AdamWW

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I've been filmed while ar work, apart from feeling a little awkward. Kind of have to respect their right to do it usually they get bored when nothing interesting happens

I can withstand the attempts of antagonistic people to a degree they often don’t expect if it benefits me to do so. The filming thing is an occupational hazard and as annoying as it can be, it can’t go very far if your conduct is correct and you remain professional.

In some cases however, people who act unprofessionally and rely on there being no proof to get away with it absolutely hate being filmed. It’s entirely understandable why they hate it, but that’s a them problem and getting a camera out can be a very effective method of correcting incorrect or unprofessional conduct immediately without it having to go further.

I’ve no problem being filmed back or someone filming for any reason, obviously if things escalate a little then it can become an issue (had someone grab my ID card on a lanyard and filming that whilst standing so close I could smell their breath)

Potentially I may make a mistake, have the wrong information or do something wrong whilst being filmed, if I’m getting something wrong (filmed or not) I’ll happily accept the criticism and learn from it, also knowing I have a full record of a discussion/incident for a complaint either way is kind of a comfort at work
If people want to film me then I’m not overly fussed, as long as it’s not in my personal space (as my body cam wouldn’t be to them) and we’re not playing an “auditor” style game of ask so many questions you can’t reply then I’m ok with it

Thanks for some different perspectives on this to other posts in the thread.
 

island

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Starting to film staff members is an excellent way to ensure that any discretion they might have been prepared to exercise is exercised against you.
 

43066

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Starting to film staff members is an excellent way to ensure that any discretion they might have been prepared to exercise is exercised against you.

Indeed.

That's pretty unprofessional then, especially if they themselves are wearing a bodycam.

A bodycam is worn as part of their job, and they cannot access the footage.

Would you go and stick your mobile phone into a stranger’s face at any other time? How would you feel if a complete stranger started filming you?

Changing the way you behave because you're being filmed is unprofessional.

Not necessarily. The staff member might intend to be helpful but, once you start filing them, decide to very professionally instruct you to leave, because you’re now acting in a way they consider intimidating.
 
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zwk500

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Changing the way you behave because you're being filmed is unprofessional. And as I said, especially if they themselves are wearing a bodycam.
On the contrary, when somebody states you're going to be fully recorded, sticking strictly to the rules is exactly the most professional way to behave.
 

LOL The Irony

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A bodycam is worn as part of their job, and they cannot access the footage.
They are still filming you and it can easily be switched off like a phone can, to present the evidence in a certain way.
Would you go and stick your mobile phone into a stranger’s face at any other time? How would you feel if a complete stranger started filming you?
Not necessarily. The staff member might have intend to be helpful but, once you start filing them, decide to very professionally instruct you to leave, because you’re now acting in a way they consider intimidating.
If anyone who wears a bodycam can't handle they themselves being filmed from a reasonable distance, then I advise finding something else to do that doesn't involve wearing one. If you are being filmed from an unreasonable distance, then I'd understand.
On the contrary, when somebody states you're going to be fully recorded, sticking strictly to the rules is exactly the most professional way to behave.
If you are wearing a bodycam, you shouldn't have an issue being recorded. In fact, you already are on cctv, where it is also in the possession of some stranger. Again, if you can't handle being filmed from a reasonable distance when your activities involve wearing a bodycam, find something else to do that doesn't involve it.
 

zwk500

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If anyone who wears a bodycam can't handle they themselves being filmed from a reasonable distance, then I advise finding something else to do that doesn't involve wearing one. If you are being filmed from an unreasonable distance, then I'd understand.

If you are wearing a bodycam, you shouldn't have an issue being recorded. In fact, you already are on cctv, where it is also in the possession of some stranger. Again, if you can't handle being filmed from a reasonable distance when your activities involve wearing a bodycam, find something else to do that doesn't involve it.
The majority of interactions filmed by non-staff are not filmed from a reasonable distance, nor do they show the whole story either.
 

zwk500

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That's why you wear a bodycam then. It's a self serving issue, but a necessary one.
Yes, but you know that the other video is going to be on TikTok or twitter while the bodycam video will be handled according to GDPR and so you cover your backside.
 

43066

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They are still filming you and it can easily be switched off like a phone can, to present the evidence in a certain way.

No they can’t, anymore than CCTV can be edited. This is a conspiracy theory.

If anyone who wears a bodycam can't handle they themselves being filmed from a reasonable distance, then I advise finding something else to do that doesn't involve wearing one. If you are being filmed from an unreasonable distance, then I'd understand.

They won’t be asking for advice on their employment choices when they’re denying you travel! It’s not an equivalent situation.

If you are wearing a bodycam, you shouldn't have an issue being recorded. In fact, you already are on cctv, where it is also in the possession of some stranger. Again, if you can't handle being filmed from a reasonable distance when your activities involve wearing a bodycam, find something else to do that doesn't involve it.

Bodycams are effectively a form of worn CCTV. If you can’t accept that bodycams are not equivalent to mobile phones I’m not sure there’s much to discuss.
 

LOL The Irony

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Yes, but you know that the other video is going to be on TikTok or twitter while the bodycam video will be handled according to GDPR and so you cover your backside.
That's the way the cookie crumbles. If you can't deal with that, then find a new line of work that isn't public facing.
No they can’t,
So how do you go to the toilet?
anymore than CCTV can be edited
Adobe premier pro, Avid media composer, Davinci resolve...
This is a conspiracy theory.
They won’t be asking for advice on their employment choices when they’re denying you travel! It’s not an equivalent situation.
Bodycams are effectively a form of worn CCTV. If you can’t accept that bodycams are not equivalent to mobile phones I’m not sure there’s much to discuss.
Something tells me that a similar situation has happened to you before and now you view anyone filming you as out to get you. Have you ever thought that like the bodycam can save you, their phone footage can save them? Or do you think only you should be allowed to film others?
 

AlterEgo

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Changing the way you behave because you're being filmed is unprofessional. And as I said, especially if they themselves are wearing a bodycam.
No, it’s the model of being professional I’m afraid. No discretion, everything done by the book.

I guarantee if I film my interaction with the guard on Avanti where I got on a service which was first stop Warrington with a Milton Keynes ticket, I get sold a new ticket in line with the rules instead of getting backpassed.
 

43066

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That's the way the cookie crumbles. If you can't deal with that, then find a new line of work that isn't public facing.

As has been pointed out, if you behave in a manner staff find provocative and intimidating, they’ll be less inclined to show you favourable discretion. It’s just human nature - and whether you find that unprofessional or not is really neither here nor there.

As I’ve asked, would you be happy with someone filming you at work? What about when you’re not at work? If I came up to you on a station platform, and started videoing you from close quarters, how would that make you feel?

If it’s rude/inappropriate/weird/creepy to go around filming complete strangers at any other time, it’s exactly the same on the railway.

Adobe premier pro, Avid media composer, Davinci resolve...

So you are seriously suggesting that TOCs edit CCTV footage? As I say, this is a conspiracy theory.

Something tells me that a similar situation has happened to you before and now you view anyone filming you as our to get you. Have you ever thought that like the bodycam can save you, their phone footage can save them? Or do you think only you should be allowed to film others?

Completely wrong. I’ve never worn a bodycam, and have no desire to ever wear one.
 
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