Enabling the body worn video revolution

Police forces across England and Wales have the chance to lead the world in the use of body worn video (BWV). However, to maximise the Home Office’s initial £3 million investment and create a platform for a wide deployment of cameras, forces must put in place far more robust processes for managing this valuable video evidence, argues Alasdair Field, director at Reveal Media. He speaks to Police Professional…

Mar 13, 2008
By Paul Jacques
Reported e-scooter user casualties, by sex and age, Great Britain: year ending June 2021.

Police forces across England and Wales have the chance to lead the world in the use of body worn video (BWV). However, to maximise the Home Office’s initial £3 million investment and create a platform for a wide deployment of cameras, forces must put in place far more robust processes for managing this valuable video evidence, argues Alasdair Field, director at Reveal Media. He speaks to Police Professional…

Since Home Office Minister Tony McNulty pledged £3 million in July 2007 to fund a national roll-out of body worn video (BWV) cameras to police forces in the UK there has predictably been a massive increase in interest in the technology. The response from forces has been excellent, demonstrating a very strong commitment to maximising the financial and operational benefits that BWV can deliver.

The Home Office report on the guidance for the police use of body-worn video devices predicts a 22.4 per cent reduction in officer time spent on paperwork and file preparation as a result of this new technology. Footage can be used as a piece of supporting evidence in court, significantly improving the quality of the evidence provided by police officers at incidents and resulting in guilty pleas that will save court time. The report also states that body-worn cameras have a proven calming effect and have resulted in a reduction in the number of violent crimes.

But there are further benefits that could, and should, be attained from this technology, including a streamlining of custody decisions and a significant reduction in the time spent by officers recording incidents in notebooks.

However, such benefits can only be achieved if video evidence is not only effectively captured but also stored and shared, securely, across both police forces and the criminal justice system.

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