How could the police improve body worn camera policy?

Evolving technology has shaped and improved the way we live, with body cameras within policing one such example.

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Positive policing with recording technology

The University of Cambridge’s 12-month study of around 2,000 UK and US police officers who wore body cameras found that complaints against officers dropped by an impressive 93 per cent. This is likely to be due to the awareness of the recording, both on the part of the officers and the potential offenders and accusers.

As the Avon & Somerset force discovered, this technology can also bolster confidence in policing, reduce the number and cost of legal proceedings, and improve conviction rates due to the more objective nature of recorded evidence.

Police come across lots of crimes within there day to day role and this is why body worn cameras can be very useful. Crimes can include breaking and entering which can damage your doors, windows and locks.  If you do have any problems with needing a lock replacement after a burglary an Emergency Locksmith in Cheltenham such as could be the right option for you.

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How can the benefits be further improved?

It is almost impossible to argue that body worn cameras are not beneficial; however, as with any new initiative, a few aspects need a little fine tuning. If it were to be implemented, these are three areas that should be addressed:

Firstly, there is the issue of when the cameras are set to record. For the aforementioned study, cameras recorded for the duration of shift with the exception of breaks and highly-delicate cases; however, the College of Policing guide on body worn video states that an officer can record at his or her discretion. While there is a pre-recording function of 30 seconds before the camera is turned on, this feature has been deemed unnecessary by the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology. A pre-record of five minutes should be mandatory and definitive legislation needs to be put into place to ensure optimal recording across the board.

Secondly, it could be possible for original footage to be edited or even erased.  It should therefore be a requirement for any officer editing their own footage to be supervised to prevent this possibility, or even the accusation, of such an occurrence.

Lastly, some police forces will only store the recorded data for 31 days; others will delete it before this time; and the public is largely aware of the timescale in which requests for the footage need to be made. The length of preservation should be increased to at least 12 months to allow allegations and complaints further down the line to be adequately addressed.