Westward Shipping News is sharing a spotlight on Plymouth’s Waterfront business leaders and owners, who are giving their views, perspectives, and insights on the future of Britain’s Ocean City. 

Audax is the world’s Body Worn Video Camera pioneer. They have been at the forefront of mobile, digital evidence gathering technology for over 20 years, and based in Plymouth.

Audax is one of the city’s top international success stories, and along with being the worldwide pioneer in developing Body Worn Video (BWV) technology, they are the only UK manufacturer, and make their specialist products in Plymouth – and export across the globe.

Managing Director Adam Liardet set up Audax in 2004, and first operated from a small office the Millfields

Audax reputation soon grew for its innovation, and ground breaking products, and its management team made up of ex-military veterans. The company has evolved to become probably the most globally experienced and knowledgeable business in the field of Body Worn Video (BWV) there is.

Audax leads in manufacturing and developing superior technology that is recognised by the international security industry.

Body Worn video Cameras is not just used by the police, but also by numerous frontline workers in security companies, ambulance and fire services, parking enforcement, border patrols, and civil and Environmental crime enforcement. But increasingly major retailers looking to protect its colleagues from violence and theft.

In fact, we have just delivered 4,200 Plymouth manufactured Body Worn camera systems to an international retailer who have deployed them across 400+ sites who are wishing to help their frontline colleagues de-escalate potentially dangerous situations, he said.

Audax is a proud ‘Made in Britain’ approved business, and we were one of the first UK companies to adopt the Good Business Charter (which also incorporates being accredited as a Living Wage Employer and No Zero Hours Contract Gold Employer). 

In 2002, Adam was one of the founding members and became the BWV Ambassador of the Security Industry Federation, the (UK’s Security Trade Union), and in 2023, he was responsible and proud to have been awarded the Gold Award of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Body-worn cameras are a specialised tool to increase the safety of frontline workers, improve transparency, and are proven to mitigate the risk of aggression and violence, along with the capture of evidence securely. They are now often viewed as an important part of a frontline worker’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

Audax’s cameras also incorporate SOS Panic alarm functions and the capability of securely live streaming video to a control room, allowing security managers to view incidents as they happen.

The company’s main headquarters are based in Millfield’s, Stonehouse, but they also have numerous staff working from home across the UK and as far as Brussels, Belgium.

The Plymouth Millfield’s Team, left to right: Mike Pitt, Director, Adam Liardet, MD, John Aniszewski, Director, Natalie Powell, Operations Manager, Daniel Fullalove, IT Technical, Mike Delamare, IT Tech Lead

Adam was born in Buckinghamshire, and was educated at a boarding school from 6 to 18 years of age, ending up at Lancing College near Brighton.

When leaving school, Adam worked as a roofer to earn enough money to travel across Australia for 6 months, and on his return to England, he joined the British Army.

After completing basic training as a rifleman, Adam soon attended Sandhurst and was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Green Jackets. Adam served in Northern IrelandOmagh/Strabane) in the early nineties, and in 1996 he led the advance party deployment and subsequent return of a large company battle group to Bosnia.

Following ‘Options for Change’, he ended up working for nearly 4 years in sales and IT recruitment before he set up his own recruitment company operating from his garden shed over 24 years ago.

How does your day begin?

My day starts with an early 3 kilometre walk with my wife and dogs ‘Crumpet and Poppet’ that are Welsh Corgis. The early morning seems to be only time it isn’t raining, so we make the most of it. Then it’s checking overnight emails, meetings, and dealing with international clients and customers. Along with new product innovation and the company’s marketing, and certainly a busy one.

What does it mean to be an effective business leader in the world’s market place?

While running a successful UK manufacturer, employing staff, and paying all of our taxes in the UK. I am in the unusual position of actually living in Brussels, Belgium.

It has numerous advantages in that I get to see both sides of the channel with regards to politics, news, and media, and I feel I am more aware of global business concerns and feelings rather than just having a UK focus.

I was ‘working from home’ well before the COVID pandemic, and it is quite clear to me that businesses need to constantly evolve and be able to pivot quickly to a change in circumstances and customer demand.  

How do you see the changing face of international business?

I am a firm believer that you get the best out of people when they get to choose their surroundings rather than being forced to conform to an out of fashion ideology of being altogether in a central office.

The adoption of technology in business is great, and meeting customers, presentations on the internet is so much easier, both for time effectiveness and cost (not only to budgets but to the environment too).

That said, you simply can’t beat face-to-face meetings, which is why we have a large exhibition presence at key events across our calendar.

How do you see the future face of Plymouth?

The city is still held back by its transport links, I am afraid.  Living in Brussels gives me travel time to London in only 2 hours by train. In comparison from London to Plymouth, it is nearly 4 hours on the train, and that is a ‘lucky dip’ to even running on time. 

Our business is global, and I suppose it depends on what your sector is and what you are selling, but Plymouth really does need to get its act together with connectivity.

If you have any business advice, what would it be?

Simple, one word, ‘persevere’.

What do you most love about Plymouth?

I love the characters and the city’s sense of community, but most of all the vibrant waterfront and light.

Life is simply brighter in the South West. I may spend much of my time in Brussels, but definitely an honorary Plymothian at heart.