Wearable cameras will allow delivery workers to prove that deliveries have been completed
The Royal Mail has revealed that all its delivery workers will soon be kitted out with a wearable camera in an attempt to cut down on consumer complaints about failed deliveries.
Thousands of staff will be equipped with a Postal Digital Assistant (PDA) which will be used to photograph parcels that need to be left in a pre-determined safe location as their intended recipients are not at home.
Royal Mail says that the hand-held Zebra TC75 devices, which cost around £1,300 each, will help give customers peace of mind regarding their deliveries.
Royal Mail says that no concrete date has been agreed for the full rollout of the devices, which will be trialled first to assess their impact, meaning that it’s unlikely they will be launched this year.
“Our new PDAs (Postal Digital Assistant) will have a camera facility built in,” Graham Devlin, the Royal Mail’s outdoor design manager, revealed in a response to a letter in the company’s staff newspaper.
“These will be used for things like proof of delivery and for security. For example, if a customer requests proof that you’ve delivered their item to their designated Safe Place, you will have the ability to take a picture of the item in that location.”
In order to nominate a safe place for post to be left when they are out, customers simply need to complete a form at a sorting office.
Any future usage of the devices would be fully data compliant and conducted within the strict guidelines of the Information Commissioner’s Office, a Royal Mail spokeswoman told The Daily Telegraph. Any photos taken by the new devices could become part of arbitration between the Royal Mail and customers in case of a parcel going missing.
Many courier companies already use cameras to record deliveries but the technology will be a new departure for Royal Mail as it looks to stay competitive against increasingly popular private competitors.
Last year, it signed a £130m deal with BT Global Services for the provision of 76,000 next generation hand-held devices over the next five years, which will provide more flexible delivery options as well as better tracking capabilities.
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