What is GoodSAM?
GoodSAM is a video streaming platform designed for the emergency services, which allows colleagues and members of the public to instantly share their location, as well as what they’re seeing at the scene of an incident via the camera on their mobile phone. The GoodSAM service is initiated by sending an SMS text message or email containing a web link to a 999/101 caller, who on opening the link can allow the call handler to track their location and (depending on the type of invite sent) either view the live video footage of the scene in front of the caller, or upload images/videos already stored on their device.
How does it work?
If when you make contact with us our control room operator believes that there is benefit in using GoodSAM to assist them in dealing with your call, they may send you an SMS text message/email containing one of three types of invite in the form of a web link. This will be done after gaining your consent, and whilst you are still on the phone to us. They types of link that we can send are:
- an invitation to view your current location
- an invitation to view your current location & live video feed from your camera
- an invitation to view your current location & upload photos and/or videos that you have already taken
Whilst on the phone to us, our call takers will explain which of the above links they are sending and the reason for requesting this information from you. Reasons might include locating you, seeing what it is that you are reporting to us so that we can capture evidence of offences, to aid in decision making on how to help you, or to allow us to monitor the situation whilst we are on our way.
Where necessary, we may share the information that you provide with other emergency services such as the Fire & Rescue or Ambulance Services. We may also share this information internally – for example with the officer that is assigned to deal with your call.
Once our call taker has captured the information that they need in order to appropriately deal with your call, the GoodSAM connection is ended and BCH police will have no further access to any information on your device. You will receive a text message confirming this.
You are free to end the connection at any time by either asking our call handler to end the GoodSAM link, or by simply pressing the red cross button on the bottom of your screen. GoodSAM is only used with your consent.
How do the police use GoodSAM?
With the Public - we are able to send SMS text messages to capture location, initiate a live video stream or request upload of media files (as explained above).
Police Officer Video Streaming - all front line response officers are able to live stream and share footage directly with a recipient via the GoodSAM Responder app on their smartphones. This will allow officers to show others what they are dealing with at the scene of an incident – i.e. the control room, their supervisor, or a specialist department who are able to offer advice based on what the officer is showing them.
Live Streaming from Police Devices - We currently stream live video from our fleet of drones through GoodSAM in order to quickly and easily share aerial footage into our control room and with other emergency services. We are currently exploring other devices that can stream video through GoodSAM, including action cameras, body worn cameras and the police helicopter.
Consultations – We also have the ability to invite members of the public to join a video consultation through GoodSAM. Similar to the process described above, an SMS text message can be sent containing a link which when opened allows the recipient to join a video call with a member of the constabulary. All participants will be able to see and hear each other. We plan to use this functionality to assist in in dealing with appointments.
What will it do?
Providing our control room operators with this information will assist them in determining exactly the right type of resources to dispatch, and aid them in understanding what is being reported to them. Being able to track your location whilst on the phone means that officers sent to an incident know exactly where to go and can get to you as quickly as possible. We also have the ability to share your video footage or photos with other relevant people – this could be the officers on the way to you so that they have all the information they need prior to attendance, but could also be the fire or ambulance service. The aim of this platform is to provide a more effective service to the public by sending the most appropriate resources, and to gather best evidence of any crimes that are being committed so that we can bring offenders to justice.
What happens if I accidentally upload the wrong photograph or video?
Your privacy is important to us. Bedfordshire Police only seek to obtain and retain photographs or videos relating to the incident that you are reporting. If you submit a photo or video in error, you can request that the operator you are speaking to has that file deleted. The operator will restrict the photograph or video to stop it being seen by others, and will make a formal request to have the file(s) deleted from the platform.
What sort of device do I need?
Most modern smartphones or tablets with a camera will be able to use GoodSAM. It will work with both Apple and Android Operating Systems. Older models of phone or tablet may not be supported.
Does it cost me anything?
Streaming live video through GoodSAM will use a small amount of your 3G/4G/5G mobile data allowance. Live video is highly compressed for transmission over the 3G/4G network therefore it will only use a very small amount of data. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, then your mobile data will not be used. If you are uploading a photo or video that you had already taken, then the data used will be equal to the size of the picture or video that you are sending to us.
Do I need to download an app?
No. This service works without you needing to download anything beforehand. All you need to do is click the link in the text message and allow access to your camera, microphone and location if/when prompted.
What data is collected and what happens to it?
To initiate live streaming we require an email address or your mobile number, and as such these details are entered into GoodSAM. The service will capture your IP address, any live or recorded media you choose to share, and (if you allow access to your location) the GPS co-ordinates of your device will be displayed to us.
Can the Police access information on my phone?
We will have no access to any data on your device either during or after use of GoodSAM. We only see your video feed and location whilst your web browser is open. Once live streaming is finished, we will have no ongoing access to your camera or location and you will receive an automated text message confirming this.
What will happen to the video and where will it be stored?
All live video & audio transmitted through GoodSAM is recorded by us, and it will not store on your device. We will also store any photos or videos that you upload to us from your device. Any media that we store may form part of a criminal investigation. All footage will be dealt with sensitively and redacted where required.
We adhere to MOPI (Management of Police Information) rules - Any data retained is graded against a MOPI review group which will be dependent on the offence type – see further guidance at: Police Information Management. Any photos or video captured that will not form part of a case will automatically delete after 31 days.
Will the video be shared outside of the Police?
In an emergency situation your live video could be shared with other emergency services so that all parties involved in the response to an incident have the information that they need.
We work closely with other professional agencies and sharing of any recorded photos/videos will only take place if there is an Information Sharing Agreement in place and that it is necessary and proportionate to do so.
When a video is shared there is a requirement for the Police to record the reason for doing so and GoodSAM is a fully auditable platform.
What about security?
The GoodSAM platform has been through a rigorous security assessment, and all data (both data being transmitted, and data being stored) is fully encrypted.
Who else is using GoodSAM?
GoodSAM is a well-established platform that is being used by Ambulance Trusts across the world.
The GoodSAM Cardiac system integrates with ambulance service CAD (computer aided dispatch) systems to trigger attendance from the nearest local responder while the ambulance service is on route. London Ambulance Service are also able to open any callers mobile phone camera and instantly locateandvisualise the scene/patient. This enables better resource deployment and earlier care. This system is being used with great success - watch the video (opens in new window) .
If you are First Trained you can apply to join GoodSAM Responder Service by downloading and registering on the Responder application from the Apple (opens in new window) or Android App Store (opens in new window).
GoodSAM also provide an “Alerter” App via the Apple (opens in new window) or Android (opens in new window) App Store that dials 999 and triggers the GoodSAM Responder System. If you are a member of public you can call the emergency services and help from nearby qualified Responders using this app.
What do you think about GoodSAM?
Whether you have used the technology or not, your opinion matters to us. Please fill out the anonymous survey below to help us gather thoughts and feelings for our local community.