Implementing body-worn cameras in a police agency has an impact on virtually every key aspect of police operations, including training, investigations, community relations, resource allocation, and more. With the growing adoption of body-worn cameras, the need for effective law enforcement training is paramount to help ensure that officers have the necessary knowledge and tools to confront the difficult tasks they encounter on a daily basis. The following considerations and resources will serve as helpful information in support of this challenge.
Research on body-worn cameras (BWC) has tended, through evaluations or randomized controlled trials, to look to demonstrate some assumed benefit or consequence of the use of BWC. This article is concerned with the ways in which police officers use and talk about BWC and draw on ethnographic research over the past 30 months in one force as it rolled out the use of cameras. BWC have become a useful tool in the array of those available to officers. At the same time, they come with some downsides.
In many countries, the use of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) offer new access points and oversight mechanisms to monitor police–public interactions. BWCs offer researchers front-row seats in Hotel Criminology from the police officer’s perspective. This discussion aims to caution researchers about getting too comfortable in their hotel armchairs as a result of the introduction of BWCs. Questions arise as to whether these cameras offer police organizations a legitimate reason to refuse research access where, alternatively, BWC footage could be viewed.
One of the most compelling perceived benefits of body-worn cameras (BWCs) involves the potential for reductions in citizen complaints and police use of force. A handful of early studies reported significant reductions in both outcomes following BWC adoption, but several recent studies have failed to document such effects.
Given the national interest in equipping police with body-worn cameras (BWCs), it is important to consider public attitudes concerning the technology. This article draws on the results of a national survey of citizen opinions of BWCs. The survey includes items related to general support for BWCs, opinions on their potential
The College of Policing, the Metropolitan Police Service, and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime designed and implemented the largest randomized controlled trial of body-worn video (BWV) cameras to date, to test its impact on a range of outcomes, including criminal justice outcomes, complaints made against the police, stop and search, officer attitudes, and public experience. This article summarizes the finding of the trial relating to interactions between the police and the public, drawing on analysis of surveys and interviews with officers and a range of administrative data.
Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) are an increasingly prominent research area in criminal justice. This trend mirrors current practice, with more and more law enforcement agencies implementing or procuring BWCs. Yet the evidence on BWCs is substantially long on evidence but rather short on theory. Why should BWCs ‘work’ and under what conditions or on whom? This article offers a more robust theoretical composition for the causal mechanisms that can explain the efficacy of BWCs.