Technical guidance

The focus of the Home Office technical guidance is on the recording devices themselves, but the importance of putting in place appropriate procedures and facilities for the transfer and management of the recordings is also covered.

Jul 23, 2014
By Paul Jacques
Haroon Iqbal

The focus of the Home Office technical guidance is on the recording devices themselves, but the importance of putting in place appropriate procedures and facilities for the transfer and management of the recordings is also covered.

This includes ensuring that the video is recorded in a non-proprietary format that makes the subsequent storage, replay and sharing of the product within a centralised evidence management system straightforward, so promoting interoperability.

The guidance is designed for those intending to use BWV across a broad range of general policing scenarios. There are, however, some specific scenarios, such as the use of BWV by firearms officers, where some more specific guidance is required. The Home Office says this will follow in a separate publication.

The requirements for the use of BWV have been broken down into three categories – essential, recommended or user decision (eg, device type).

Essential requirements are those that the device must meet for reasons of functionality, quality, evidential integrity or to ensure that the recorded product can be used effectively within the criminal justice system.

These include the capability for synchronised recording of audio and video, the inclusion of a date and time stamp on all recorded footage and that loss of power will not cause data to be lost or corrupted. “Should power fail during the recording of an incident file, it should be possible to subsequently recover the video from this recording up to the point at which power was lost as well as any earlier separate recording files that are present on the device,” states the guidance.

Data integrity is also essential and the BWV device must “prohibit recordings from being edited or deleted (except via data management software, once recordings have been transferred) and should not overwrite existing data before it has been transferred”.

Recommended requirements are those that would improve the operation, usability or performance of the device, such as a unique device ID and a visual recording indicator, visible to those being recorded

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