Isle of Wight Crime Falls Thanks to Reveal Body Worn Cameras


Assault and other public order crimes have fallen by nearly 20 per cent since all Island police officers were issued with Body Worn Video cameras, a study shows. 

The research, by the University of Portsmouth, indicates the Island could lead the way in modern policing, not just in the UK but across the world. The Island police force was the first in the country to give every officer a camera on July 1, 2013.

In the following year, assault and public order offences dropped by 18 per cent - from 1,700 to 1,400. 

Lead researcher Tom Ellis said: "The impact the cameras had on public order and assault was quite impressive - a sure sign they are extremely effective at reducing certain types of crime." 

He said cameras could have a role in 30 per cent of crime reported to IW police. He continues, "Using BWV footage to record domestic assaults is a powerful way of securing evidence early in an investigation without victims having to take part in the prosecution process."

The research also revealed an increase in prosecutions and convictions in cases of domestic assault, because in some cases victims do not have to testify.

The number of assaults on officers appear reduced and surveys showed 90 per cent of people thought the cameras had a positive impact.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Hayes, said the research provided compelling support for his investment in the technology and said soon all Hampshire officers would wear them. 

Inspector Steve Goodier said: "It's really encouraging to see such a drastic reduction in assaults on officers." 

"BWV is about more transparent policing and was introduced not just for the safety of officers but for the safety of the public too."

He recently travelled to the US to present the findings to a justice department task force, which is recommending BMV in the wake of the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Hampshire Constabulary is the first UK force to have made the cameras standard personal-issue for all frontline police officers and PCSOs in one of their districts,

A force spokesman said: "Funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Home Office will take the numbers of Body-Worn Video (BWV) cameras across the whole of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from 500 to 2,800 over the next year. These will also be evaluated by the University of Portsmouth, and the next 500 cameras will be issued over the next three months."