Body Cameras in domestic abuse trial
Domestic abuse control trial results using body worn video
The College of Policing this week revealed the results of a trial of body cameras worn by Essex Police Officers attending domestic abuse incidents. The premise of the trial was specifically to assess the impact of cameras on criminal justice outcomes. A test group of officers wore the body cameras whilst attending incidents whilst a further group did not. The outcome of those incidents attended were tracked to establish the impact of their use.
The results indicate that a significantly higher proportion of people were charged with an offence when cameras were worn at the scene; 81% of the sanctions issued were charges, as opposed to 72% from incidents where a camera was not worn.
“Officers who took part in the trial noted the benefits of capturing the context, comments, emotions and injuries when attending domestic abuse incidents. BWV can also be used to accurately record the layout of a scene or damage caused during the incident.”
Officers also reported that wearing the cameras made them more aware of their own behaviour suggesting a modifying effect. From the officers later surveyed, many felt it increased their confidence in securing a conviction because the footage could give a more thorough and accurate description of a scene than a statement could capture. Benefits were also noted in “capturing the context, comments, emotions and injuries when attending domestic abuse incidents.”
Superintendent Trevor Roe of Essex Police said "Use of the cameras helps us to capture best evidence which will help us to increase prosecutions. The new cameras will be used by frontline teams in areas that have been identified as being key areas across the county where they will have greatest effect.”
Practical limitations addressed by our PR5 body camera.
The report also revealed some practical challenges with the cameras used in the trial. “Officers reported they could be difficult to turn on and off; they did not work well in poor lighting; they got caught in seatbelts and the angle of the camera meant it was not always filming what they wanted at the scene.”
- Ease of use; The PR5 is the easiest to use body camera on the market and designed by us specifically with this in mind. The one-swipe gesture to pull down the lens cover sets the camera recording. Swipe it closed and the file is saved to the tamperproof internal SD card.
- Low-light capture; The PR5 is an industry leader in enhanced low-light capability. HD full colour recording at 30 frames per second and optimised data transfer ensures clarity, image stabilisation and facial recognition in even the most challenging exposure situations.
- Angle of view; The PR5 ships with a rotating police dock that coupled with the 120 degree angle of capture allows the wearer to intuitively ensure the camera is pointing where it needs to be.
The College of Policing is a professional body for the police in England and Wales. It was established in 2012 to take over a number of training and development roles that were the responsibility of the National Policing Improvement Agency. It is led by Chief Constable Alex Marshall who states; ‘Our mission is to ensure that everything we do equips everyone in policing with the right tools, skills and knowledge to reduce crime and protect the public.’
Body worn cameras protect your employees & benefit your organisation
- Protection Supports the lone worker or enforcement officer, promotes confidence and provides a tangible backup in confrontational situations.
- Deterrent Moderates behaviour and encourages compliance through heightened awareness.
- De-escalation Verbal articulation that recording has commenced often prompts modified behaviour by both parties and de-escalates a situation.
- Safety Creates peace of mind and reduces verbal and physical attacks on workers.
- Transparency Contributes significantly to the drive for transparency and accountability in the public arena.
- Accuracy Provides verifiable audio/video reporting including an overview of the scene, time-stamp, verbal exchanges, sequence of events and valuable first-account witness statements.
- Time-saving Minimises lengthy descriptive reports and paperwork.
- Evidence Footage from body worn video devices is admissible throughout the judicial chain.
- Judicial Efficiency Accelerates the judicial process, by speeding up prosecutions and encouraging early guilty pleas.
- Reduces Complaints Members of the public are less likely to make spurious complaints against workers.
- Reduces Absenteeism All the above improve worker working conditions and promote mental well-being in vulnerable staff.
- Loss Prevention The combined benefits of body worn video contribute to efficient workflow and cost-saving.