After being rolled out with many police forces in the country, the use of body worn cameras has received its fair share of criticism. Whilst some argue that they are an invasion of privacy, others have pointed out that their benefits significantly outweigh the negative aspects. A study by the Police Executive Research Forum has documented some of the benefits that affect the police forces using them and the general public.
Complaints against officers decreasing
Whether the use of cameras has changed the behaviour of the police, or the members of the public who are being filmed, studies show that the presence of body worn cameras has helped to cut complaints against police officers. Their use has helped refute claims against the force to the point that complaints by the public fell by 93.
Evidence of domestic violence
Cases of domestic violence have previously been difficult to prove due to a lack of evidence and the alarming number of victims refusing to testify. Some officers are being advised to record their initial contact at the scene whilst, with the victim’s permission, taking their statement on site. This allows them to capture the victim’s immediate reaction and their injuries which has helped with convictions even when the victim has decided not to prosecute later on.
Improving police interactions
Police officers are often eager to wear a camera to show that they are doing their job properly. This allows for independent verification should any allegations arise regarding their conduct in the line of duty. Many other professions, such as teachers and NHS staff have been known to use a body worn camera, such as those found here https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/, for the same reason.
Evidence of accidents
Body cameras have proven a great help in preserving information at the scene of an accident where conflicting information may be given. Whereas dash cams have the benefit of capturing the accident itself, they are unable to collect all the necessary information afterwards when police officers may be interviewing several people, unlike body cameras.
By recording officer behaviour at the scene, it allows a much more realistic idea of how officers deal with the situation and helps to create better training for upcoming roles. Any issues can be addressed and communicated to help improve policies.