Footage admissible in court 
thanks to special software

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Entrepreneur Martin Port is to install 100,000 SmartWitness in-vehicle CCTV cameras over the next three years in a bid to help clients reduce costly insurance claims.

The cameras will be installed in the vehicles of Mr Port’s BigChange customers and will provide companies with court admissible video footage.

Mr Port has teamed up with SmartWitness in-vehicle CCTV cameras, which are highly rated by insurance companies, to add video functionality to his BigChange mobile workforce technology system.

​SmartWitness evidence allows insurance claims to be filed in record time, which significantly reduces costs.

Insurers have found that just two per cent of incidents recorded on SmartWitness cameras result in disputed claims. This is against an industry norm of 40 per cent for all motor claims.

At the moment Leeds-based BigChange provides customers with tracking information about a driver’s harsh braking, acceleration and speed which is a powerful tool to enforce good driver behaviour, but video footage will transform the operation.

“In a lot of incidents involving near misses or an accident you get harsh braking and to have video proof of exactly what happened is absolutely vital,” said Mr Port.

“You can protect the driver and it’s encrypted so it’s admissible in court.”

Mr Port said that a trial run with a client that has 100 vehicles saw 35 incidents and all were documented by video footage.

“The technology is very. very good. It’s a powerful tool,” he added.

BigChange has approaching 300 customers, including HSS, Silentnight and Morrison Utility Services, and services 5,000 vehicles.

In just over two years sales have soared.

“We’re growing at 100 per cent a year. This year turnover will be just over £2m, up from £1.05m and the year before that we were at £300,000,” said Mr Port.

“We hope to fit 10,000 vehicles by the end of December 2016.”

The cameras will cost £199 each plus installation costs and the link to the system. Customers will receive a text when there has been unusual braking activity.

Mr Port, 52, sold vehicle tracking firm Masternaut UK in 2009 for an estimated £20m,

He sees it as essential that the next generation of telematics include court admissible video footage.

SmartWitness will offer a fully integrated solution as part of BigChange’s JourneyWatch Vehicle Tracking and JobWatch All-in-One Mobile Workforce Management systems. The SmartWitness SVC 1080 will now be offered as standard with these systems.

Camera events will be automatically logged and will enable management to know the exact time and location of any accidents or near-misses​.

“Together with Smart Witness cameras, BigChange has a truly comprehensive risk management offering, protecting your business, your drivers and members of the public​,” said Mr Port.​

​“​BigChange mobile workforce apps help companies to manage risk right across their operations. All customers have free use of a driver productivity app for ​a​ndroid phones and tablets. It automates and enforces daily driver checks, can manage risk assessments and provides tailored de-briefs and driver feedback.​“

He added that video footage is​ now​ a key part of any telematics offering​.

BigChange​ looked at ​a number​ of other solutions​, but ​Mr Port said ​SmartWitness was the clear winner, based on spec​ification​, features, innovation, value, reliability, quality, support and price.

JobWatch was launched by BigChange as ​a​ paperless way to plan, manage, schedule and track ​a​ mobile workforce.

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