College of Policing body camera trial
Key Findings from Body Cam Trial in Domestic Abuse Call-outs
This week the College of Policing Digest (Nov 14) included a brief summary of the Essex trial of body cameras as worn to domestic abuse incidents. The key findings are worth reiterating as they have implications across all sectors of law enforcement and serve to reinforce the fact that body worn video looks set to change the face of 21st century policing.
- There was a significantly higher proportion of people charged with an offence when officers used body worn video, compared with other sanctions such as a penalty or community resolution.
- Where officers used body cameras, 81% of the sanctions issued were charges, compared to 72% when officers did not wear the equipment.
- The presence of BWV increased the probability of an individual being charged at all risk levels graded by the control room, but the effect was most noticeable for the lower risk cases.
- Half of officers interviewed stated that they had an increased confidence in getting convictions using body worn video, as they felt the cameras gave more detail than a statement could capture.
- Officers felt that BWV was especially useful when recording the initial account of an incident, as it would often capture emotion and any injuries and more accurately reflect the impact of the incident.
- Officers felt the cameras increased accountability and made them more mindful of their own behaviour.
The Pinnacle Response PR5 was not the camera used in the trial. "Officers found that the cameras used in the trial had practical limitations, including failure to record, recording at the wrong angle, difficulties switching it on/off and not working in poor lighting". We would like to invite any public or private procurement body to avail of the opportunity to test our cameras for free and can guarantee a far superior usability.
College of Policing Chief Executive, Chief Constable Alex Marshall said that the trial "indicates that in cases of domestic abuse, body worn cameras have the potential to improve criminal justice outcomes and though focused on one specific area of crime, this research is an important step in building an evidence base that can help us understand how body worn video can contribute to good policing."
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.