4 ways body cameras could help build trust in your community
1. Body cameras reduce tensions
Did you know that 60% of Americans believe community and police tensions would be reduced if officers wore body cameras? This positive statistic was uncovered in the Reveal 2015 Policing Perspectives Report, conducted by YouGov.
This means that over half of your community would immediately have an improved perception of their relationship to your department simply with the introduction of body cameras.
2. Body cameras make officers more efficient
Being able to capture video and audio evidence will alone save an officer’s time transcribing detailed notes about every incident they come across – up to 22% of their shift said the UK’s Home Office. The technology’s hand in deescalating aggressive encounters also leads to quicker resolution, allowing officers to be more available to help other members of the public. Furthermore, digital video evidence is very powerful and can make the justice system as a whole more efficient, saving money and keeping officers out of court.
An increased visibility and availability encourages contact, which is helpful when building trust with the community.
3. Body cameras reduce use of force incidents
A study with the Rialto Police Department found a 50% decrease in use of force incidents as a result of body cameras having an impact on the behaviour of both the officer and the public. Reveal customers around the world have shown Rialto is not alone and that the front facing screen on their body cameras enhances the deterrent nature of the technology, having a profound effect on interactions with the public:
“When people see themselves being recorded… – they can check their behaviour because they know they’re being recorded” Officer Joshua Jones, Pasadena PD, CA
“The devices also had a positive impact on behaviour. We found once someone was aware they were being recorded, their behaviour changed – in some cases, it helped defuse aggressive situations.” Stuart Ayres, Police Minister for Australia
“It stops situations getting to the point of violence. Most of the time people notice it [the Reveal body camera] without me having to say anything, but sometimes just by pointing at the display they can see themselves and they realise they are being filmed. And they want to get away with what they are doing so normally they just leave once they see the camera. It’s better than having a colleague next to you.” Othello, Security Manager at the Hard Rock Café, Sweden
“The front facing screen is brilliant. You know you’re being recorded when you can see yourself on a screen... Not only does it defuse situations, but people then start apologising.” Colin Green, UK
By diffusing situations, you may negate the need to establish control by use of force. Either the situation will not escalate to the point of needing to establish control, or the perpetrator will be more willing to cooperate.
Reducing use of force is a powerful way to fight the “militarisation of the police” perception that some in your community may harbour, reducing the “us and them” mentality that gets in the way of trust.
4. Body cameras are an independent witness
Honest and hardworking police officers soon discover that body cameras are there to help them do their job. By being an unbiased witness, they provide back up for the officer in contentious situations.
Reveal’s 2015 Policing Perspectives Report found that If Americans encountered a scenario in their neighbourhood where an officer had arrested a suspected criminal and both were complaining the other had assaulted them, 35 percent would believe the police officer was most likely telling the truth, while, showing there is some distrust amongst Americans, one in ten (10%) would trust the person arrested.
In contentious environments, body cameras would be the vehicle whereby truth could be found. And if the camera had been rolling, it would be very difficult to fabricate a false testimony.
When your community see officers with body cameras, the one in every 10 people may be more likely to trust their account.
These are just four ways body cameras could help to build trust in your community, and there are many more.
To learn more about Reveal and how our body cameras could help build trust in your community, call 888 269-9924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.