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Welfare Minister Won’t Rule Out Making Benefits Assessors Wear Body Cameras

January 10, 2017

A Tory minister says she is “very happy to look at” an MP’s idea of making benefit assessors wear cameras to prove their tests are fair.

Labour’s Christina Rees claimed body-worn cameras would make “disputed” tests carried out by private fit-for-work firms more accurate.

Last month we revealed how taxpayers have handed Atos and Capita£500m assessing people for disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP) since it launched in 2013.

Yet figures show 61% of 90,000 claimants who appealed against a PIP decision at a tribunal since 2013 won their case.

And 428,000 asked the DWP for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ – the step before a tribunal – with 17% winning a change to their award.

Labour MP Ms Rees posed the idea of body-worn cameras during an exchange with Tory disabilities minister Penny Mordaunt.

She asked: “Would the minister consider introducing and funding mandatory use of body-worn cameras by all contracted out assessment providers?

“[This] will improve the accuracy and efficiency of the much disputed health assessment reports as well as safeguarding claimants and assessors.”

Ms Mordaunt replied: “There are detailed improvement plans for both PIP and ESA (disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance).

“But one of the things that is being looked at is how assessments are recorded.

“And if [Ms Rees] would like to write to me with any specific suggestions she’s had, I’d be very happy to look at them.”

Body-worn cameras to solve disputes are on the rise as the technology becomes cheaper.

Scotland Yard issued cameras to 22,000 frontline police officers in London last year saying they “speed up justice”.

People who feature in videos can request to view them under data protection laws up to 31 days after they have been recorded.

Ms Rees told the House of Commons such cameras have “proved to be very successful when used by emergency services across the UK.”

9 Comments leave one →
  1. jeffrey davies permalink
    January 10, 2017 10:37 am

    i wonder did my mp realy think this out each building these cuckoo companies rest in are dwp jcp buildings owned by the government it doesnt charge these companies any rent they just like that parasite cuckoo feeding off yet if they did pay rent then that camera and recording equipment could be supplied so that it could if claiment wanted it yet these greedie parasites get away without paying rent ouch

  2. Sarah permalink
    January 10, 2017 11:14 am

    Would the MP like her medical examinations on video? Recorded fine as it is currently very difficult to record a PIP assessment as claimants do not generally have suitable equipment, and if they did and where seen to operate it it would no doubt be assumed that they could do so many other tasks .
    Many PIP assessments are done in claimants homes. This would take away any home privacy in such cases. There is no telling who would have access to them. We are not usually criminals but the MP seems to want to treat us as such.
    A video will not stop assumptions being made about our capabilities. How does being able to drive show dexterity of handling change? How would video help unless the whole assessment was changed so that assumptions as listed in the DWPs guidance to HCP were not allowed.

  3. Sarah Davis permalink
    January 10, 2017 11:29 am

    I actually think this would be a good idea, but as others may not perhaps you should get the choice. I’ve had 3 assessments over the years and failed at each one because the reports were full of lies. A recording would’ve proved this. I know a lot of people ask for it to be recorded but they make it very difficult to do so, I’ve always assumed because they know that they would then have to be totally honest in their reports. The outcome of all my assessments would have been very different had they been recorded and I wouldn’t have had to suffer the stress of taking it to tribunal, which I won every time once I pointed out the lies

  4. January 10, 2017 1:48 pm

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  5. January 10, 2017 2:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

  6. January 10, 2017 5:35 pm

    If they record video then so can we what’s good for them is good for us RIGHT GAME ON!

  7. Henrietta Sandwich permalink
    January 11, 2017 1:30 pm

    How do we know that Atos & co can’t fake/edit the footage to suit their agenda? If they can, it’ll just be another weapon against us.

  8. January 11, 2017 7:19 pm

    Reblogged this on campertessblog.

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