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Busting the myths behind police body cameras

The use of body worn cameras has increased dramatically over recent years. Some have described the cameras as invasive whilst others praise them for their ability to capture exactly what happens in times of police conflict. Here, we take a look at some of the common myths associated with body worn cameras to see whether research has confirmed them to be true or false.

They are able to capture valuable evidence

Reports into the use of worn cameras has found that this so-called myth is actually true. Studies found that in cases where a camera was worn, it was 70-80 per cent more likely for the criminal to plead guilty compared to other cases where a camera was not used. It also meant cases were often resolved quicker with less paperwork to complete, and therefore, officers were able to spend more of their time patrolling the streets.

Police officers don’t like wearing cameras

This rumour started when footage of police shootings were caught on body worn cameras in the US. However, research has shown that officers regularly show their support for the devices. It also helps that complaint against police officers decreased by a massive 93% in 2016 partly due to cameras being worn and are, therefore, seen as a good thing.

Cameras can help reduce force used by the police

With an evaluation of a Californian police department reporting a 60 per cent drop in the use of police force, this point has also been shown to be true. The same study also showed a 90 per cent drop in complaints from residents when they were aware a camera was being used. Of course, it isn’t just the police who could benefit from these cameras. Other professions may find that cameras help in their line of work, and so they may wish to look into getting their own, such as those available here

Body cameras will always capture any conflict

Unfortunately, this is not true due to several factors. Placement of the camera is highly important, and therefore, if it is blocked or not placed correctly, it may miss valuable footage. It also relies on officers strictly complying with the relevant police policies in place when it comes to switching their camera on. Human error could be the reason why encounters are missed either partially or completely.