Police body cameras cut complaints against officers

A study by the University of Cambridge has revealed that complaints from the public against police have fallen by 93 per cent in a 12-month period.

The reason for this dramatic reduction is officers carrying body worn cameras.

The study included four UK police forces and two Californian police departments in the US and was published in the Criminal Justice & Behaviour journal. Researchers set up the experiment to determine what effect the cameras were having on the behaviour of the police and members of the public.

The cameras are worn on the officers’ uniforms, usually on the chest or shoulder area. They were first introduced around 10 years ago but have only become regularly used in recent years.

Changes in behaviour

Lead researcher Dr Barak Ariel said that the introduction of cameras was one of the most significant factors in the change of behaviour of officers toward other officers and the public.

Assistant Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Police Simon Megicks added that the presence of cameras was helping to moderate behaviour and also helping to secure convictions. The study also revealed that in eight police forces that used body worn cameras, the rate of attacks on officers had increased by 15 per cent, but the cameras are considered to be a positive addition.

Image Credit

Get to know the law

Body cameras can also be used by the private sector, particularly in the security industry for security guards, doormen and women and other enforcement officers, in addition to companies that feel that their staff are particularly vulnerable to assaults.

There are strict laws governing the use of body-worn cameras, so do take the advice of specialist retailers like https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/body-worn-cameras, who provide extensive guidelines explaining the legal issues involved.

Before you kit out your staff with the cameras, take the time to read the legislation. As a responsible manager or company owner, it is vital that you and your staff fully understand the implications and the benefits that these cameras can have.

Benefits also include greater transparency and accountability, a reduction in absenteeism and time-saving, as the video and audio evidence help reduce the amount of paperwork and report writing needed. The camera recordings also provide greater accuracy of verbal exchanges and the sequence of events, and staff can also record witness statements at the scene.

You may also like