News

Body Camera Impact On Police Efficiency, Safety And Transparency

11-09-2015

Body cameras improve policing

Body camera technology improves Police performance by making officers more efficient, safe and transparent. This in turn has a knock on effect and the criminal justice system as a whole is improved.

Efficient

Reveal body worn cameras feature front facing screens that can replay footage, which allows officers to conduct in-community resolution. Instead of bringing a civilian to the police station to view footage, the officer is able to share with them the video in the field. Additionally, officers are also able to conduct interviews in the field, rather than returning to the station.

The paperwork saved by not having to transcribe interviews or commentaries, along with in-community resolution has been measured by the UK home office to save 22% of officer shift time, increasing the time of visible policing.

Body cameras also increase the number of early guilty pleas. An awareness that there is evidential footage can result in an acknowledgement of the futility of challenging the court. Early guilty pleas incur significant time and money savings making the police department much more efficient.

An independent academic study found that Reveal body cameras significantly increased the occurrence to crime-conversion ratio, most notably in domestic abuse incidents. This points to a police force that is successfully convicting criminals because of better quality evidence.

The same study found that, overall, Reveal body cameras reduced crime by 7.8%. Less crime and a higher occurrence to crime conversion rate illustrates an effective and efficient police force.

Safe

Body cameras also protect officers on the front line. Aggression towards officers, both verbal and physical, has been shown to be dramatically reduced – up to 36% - with the introduction of Reveal body cameras with front facing screens.

A study with Rialto PD found that use of force incidents were reduced by up to 50% when body cameras were introduced, which indicates that the body cameras de-escalated confrontational environments and encouraged perpetrators to be more compliant. 

The same study found that complaints against officers dropped radically, by 90%, when body cameras were rolled out. This protects officers from false allegations as the footage is able to provide an independent account of the incident and refute claims – protecting officers legally.

Transparent

Reveal body cameras uniquely feature front facing screens. The screen displays footage in real time as it is being recorded. This demonstrates the police department’s open and transparent approach to body worn video.

Allowing the public to be able to join the police in seeing what is being recorded encourages an open relationship and helps to build trust.

Furthermore, an awareness that a camera is rolling generally improves the conduct of both sides of an encounter. Failing that, an independent account of the incident can provide the truth and hold individuals to account.

All this leads to a better relationship with the public, building trust and confidence in the public services.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with our specialist team