Body worn cameras, which record both video and audio, are currently being used in public and private premises for policing or individual purpose. The police regulations deem it fit for use only when it is proportionate, legitimate and necessary, unlike individual purposes that could differ depending on its owner.
The technology deployed in their making ensures they are used overtly which means they will be clearly visible and worn on the outside of an officer’s uniform or headwear. When it is in operation, a flashing red light will appear on the camera and officers will advise members of the public that the camera is in use.
Although the cameras will be worn during an entire shift, they may only be turned on when an officer is responding to an incident or working on certain policing operations. They cannot be used for general patrolling or for continuous, non-specific recording.
The evidence they record will be used to corroborate but cannot replace evidence from other sources such as eyewitness accounts. also, it is worthy of note that anyone can request police body cam footage, although local police departments say it’s most commonly sought by attorneys seeking evidence.
Top 6 Benefits of Body Worn Cameras
Though body-worn cameras were first adopted by Napa traffic officers several years ago in hopes of refuting complaints about traffic stops, the expected benefits of the cameras based on trials and research to date, include:
- Improved evidence to support investigations
- Increased conviction rates – particularly in the case of domestic violence and public order offenses
- A reduction in assaults against police officers
- An increase in guilty pleas due to better evidence
- Transparency in policing
- The cameras have also been shown to act as a deterrent in certain confrontational situations
We can look at these cameras in the force sector as a key tool to protect both members of the public and officers inclusive. In addition to providing vital evidence to support investigations, complaints and improve on legitimacy and safety for the public.
BODY-WORN video cameras are now being rolled out to selected North Yorkshire Police teams. The force said it would begin issuing the cameras to authorized firearms officers, taser trained officers, response officers and custody staffs. The cameras have been introduced extensive research around body worn video in other police areas.
A wireless Bluetooth connection lets an officer view videos and photos captured by the camera on a police-issued smartphone. A special phone app allows the addition of notes and metadata to help the department keep track of evidence and any requests for it. Equally as important as the video devices are the network that will capture and safeguard it, which is why there is a password-protected website, Evidence.com, that stores this footage.
Once in a while, police officials are required to hire so-called white-hat hackers four times a year to check its system for online intrusions and security flaws. The use of the cameras will be monitored and evaluated during active and passive use, which will then inform any future decisions about their wider use.