Facts and Figures of Body Worn Cameras - ESS Survey
September saw The Emergency Services Show release facts and figures about its body worn video survey in relation to police and paramedics in the UK. Earlier this year the British Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (BAPCO) journal released an article (p.14) about body worn video, speaking to Paul Kinsella of West Mercia Police and the Body Worn Video Steering Group (sponsored by Reveal) about the national standards, implementation and operational use of BWV in the UK.
The survey conducted in June 2014 was designed to gauge support for body worn video and BAPCO released an article presenting the results of a survey conducted on behalf of the Emergency Services Show (ESS) showing strong support for body worn video with news of the results reaching as far as Estonia, a territory supplied by Reveal.
A total of 516 participants from the emergency services completed the survey which found 92% of Police officers and 72% of paramedics in favour of body worn video. Furthermore the figures showed that 56% of police surveyed had personal experience with the use of the cameras in addition to 25% of paramedics.
Feeling safer whilst doing their job showed a 68% support from police, meanwhile 72% strongly agreed the use of the devices leads to greater public confidence in police. Furthermore six in ten thought that it would expedite the justice process however confidence in whether the devices would act to diffuse potentially violent situations seems to reflect less confidence with 44% in agreement and 26% not.
The misuse of cameras showed two thirds did not see potential for misuse where 1 third did, on the other hand 80% of both police and paramedics agreed wearing a camera was not an invasion of their privacy at work, while 81% of police and 74% of paramedics did not believe it was an invasion of the public’s privacy either.
72% of paramedics responded that they thought the cameras would be useful for their work although their reasons differed from the police who said thekey benefits are the opportunity for independent evidence gathering and resolving ‘his word against mine’ situations.
Speaking at the ESS, Stuart Murrell, who on another occasion praised Reveal's Digital Evidence Management Software, DEMS said,
“The advancement of technology has allowed Body Worn Video (BWV) to become a realistic proposition for use within the police and other emergency services”, continuing, “BWV greatly assists across a broad spectrum from conviction through to complaint reduction and incident management. BWV is a cost effective independent witness providing a speedier judicial process and peace of mind for the wearer.”
Overall the current attitude towards body worn video is positive, and, as the discussion, technology and development of knowledge surrounding BWV expands future studies may investigate camera use for other professions such as security, parking wardens and more who are currently, or have just begun using the devices.