POLICING IN CONTEMPORARY
More and more police departments are beginning to use body-worn cameras, and this h …
POLICING IN CONTEMPORARY
More and more police departments are beginning to use body-worn cameras, and this has had
an effect on policing. Considerable thought should go into the aspect of using body-worn
cameras. After a body-worn camera programme has been implemented and the public has
grown to assume the accessibility of video recordings, itbecomes increasingly difficult for an
agency to have second thoughts or to reduce the number of cameras in use. Police
departments that equip their officers with body cameras are sending amessage to the public
that they see their officers’ activities as public record. These days, police enforcement officers
wear body-worn cameras as standard procedure. This is just one example of how law
enforcement is making use of surveillance technologies (Ariel et.al, 2016). The use of body
cameras by law enforcement officers to record contacts with the public and increase public
trust is becoming more and more common these days. However, itappears that these cameras
are not delivering the outcomes that were expected or desired. Using body-worn cameras
raises ethical concerns for citizens, police enforcement, and other parties.
Community trust in police agencies is enhanced when officers are equipped with body-worn
cameras that allow them to provide high-quality public service. The use of body-worn
cameras has been shown to improve officer performance and community member behaviour
in departments that have previously used it. This is ahuge step forward for law enforcement.
Body-worn cameras can provide apublic record of incidents in which cops or members of the
general public breach the law or conduct inappropriately, allowing the entire group of
community to witness what really happened (McClure et.al, 2017).
There is no denying that videotaping every contact between the public and the police is a
reflection of the times and a terrible remark on certain jurisdictions’ strained ties with the
community. Policing has come too far in building and deepening connections with its
communities to enable contacts with the public to become formal and legalistic as a
profession. While the use of body cameras can help police officers be held more accountable,
law enforcement organisations must also find amethod to protect the informal and unique
connections that exist between officers and people of the community (Scheindlin, 2015) .
In order to provide better police services, it is critical that new technologies be utilised.
Whether it is utilising social media to connect with the public, deploying new surveillance
techniques to identify suspects, or using data analysis to anticipate future crime, police
departments throughout the world are integrating new technology at an unprecedented rate.
Law enforcement organisations are increasingly using body-worn cameras, a revolutionary
tech that has a big impact on the area of police (Arie et.al, 2016). To improve evidence
collection, to promote officer accountability, to improve agency openness, to film contacts
between the police as well as the public and to conduct investigations and officer-involved
events, law enforcement agencies are adopting body-worn cameras. Body cams have
numerous advantages, but they also raise major concerns about how technology is affecting
police-community interactions. Wearing cameras on one’s person not only raises privacy
issues, but itmay also have an impact on how police officers interact with their communities,
how the public views the police, and what the public expects from police when it comes to
sharing information with the public. These and other issues must be answered before agencies
spend asignificant amount of effort and money on body-worn cameras (Fan, 2018).
Reveal, Hampshire Constabulary, and the University of Portsmouth collaborated on
Operation Hyperion, a ground-breaking project that investigated the impact of distributing
body cameras to every police officer on the Isle of Wight (IoW). Starting on July 1, 2013, a
ground-breaking new study was conducted comparing the year before the introduction of the
cameras with that year following, and it found that there was asignificant difference. The
following benefits were mentioned in the report as aresult of the use of personal issue body
cameras: There was also a noticeable lack of officer pushback to the adoption of BWV
cameras in the UK. There is a long history of officers becoming apprehensive about new
technology and equipment. There was, nevertheless, astrong desire among the officers to use
Reveal body cameras (Dodd and Antrobus, 2022)
62-year-old Millard Scott’s residence was searched by police officials in April 2020 in the
search for someone else who was related to the property. Millard was knocked unconscious
by apolice taser just 35 seconds after police stormed his residence. A video of the event,
which was posted by his son, musician Wretch-32, sparked outrage on the internet. After a
month, the Metropolitan Police Department said that “no indication of impropriety was
uncovered in reference to any other officer”. According to the Met, no officers have been
disciplined as aresult of the event, which they confirmed to Huck (Williams, 2021).
Wretch-32’s video was recorded with an Axon body camera, which the Met uses as part of its
effort to enhance policing as well as hold officers responsible for their conduct. The tasering
of 62-year-old Millard Scott was made public thanks to video taken with abody camera, but
the recording failed to prevent the occurrence or bring justice to Millard and his family later.
The use of body-worn cameras in the battle against crime and police misconduct has been
hailed as a short-term solution. In contrast to typical CCTV, these cameras offer a more
personal, intimate, and detailed picture of their subjects (Nunes, 2015). Typically, body-worn
camera video is shown in news broadcasts or low-budget daytime police documentaries. In
addition to reducing crime, body-worn cameras have been suggested to promote
accountability and transparency. Using afirst-person camera to record police misbehaviour or
racial bias can help victims get the justice they deserve. According to the Police Federation,
an organisation representing police personnel and their families, this is the case. One of the
organization’s spokespeople said, “Selective clips taken by the public and uploaded on social
media are arising concern since they might harm public trust in the service.” Police officers
feel more secure because of body-worn cameras, which are “one of the finest entries into
police work in the previous 10 years,” they said (White, 2014).
Body-camera footage has become a vital tool for police departments to refute what they
regard as false stories or disinformation from the public. People who deal with the police in
the UK are not required to reveal body camera footage by default â€“ a policy they have
rationalized with privacy regulations â€“so this does not equate to full openness for individuals
who deal with the police. A ‘subject access request’ can be made by anybody who has been
videotaped, but the police do not require permission to begin filming in the first place (Ariel,
According to arecently leaked memo from the Metropolitan Police Department in the year
2020, broadcasting video footage might aggravate “trial by social media” for police personnel.
This suggests that public perception may be more of amotivator for police departments to
use this technology than actual transparency. The social media feeds of police departments
are flooded with photos and videos of cops doing good deeds in the community or catching
criminals in the act, so there is little motivation for officers to document the less glamorous
aspects of their jobs. The use of body-worn cameras may provide cops with cop-friendly
content just as much as they can provide information to the public (Jennings et.al, 2014).
In the eyes of their opponents, the use of these cameras just adds to an already overarching
police ideology centred on surveillance and punishment. Notting Hill Carnival and
Birmingham’s Muslim populations are being monitored by CCTV as part of a counter-
terrorism strategy by the Metropolitan Police Department. Cops that use this method of
policing might divert resources from other positive, community-based initiatives. Officers’
use of body-worn video can minimise complaints of incivility and excessive force by a
significant margin. Also, the video can be used to clear police personnel of false and
malicious accusations. A reduction in the frequency of civil lawsuits against the police
department for wrongful arrest and excessive force is also one of the benefits in the criminal
justice system (McCamman and Culhane, 2017) .
Police may gain alot from using body cameras, but they are expensive to buy and install.
Agencies must spend money and resources on keeping data, maintaining films, revealing
copies to the public, training police personnel, and running this programme in addition to
their initial purchase price. A body-worn camera programme, in conjunction to the expense
of cameras and data storage, necessitates asignificant financial and staffing commitment. As
a rule, most agencies have at least one full-time officer responsible for overseeing their
camera programme. It is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies to conduct
continuous training programmes, maintain cameras, solve technological difficulties, and
address any officer non-compliance concerns. Some agencies additionally spend money to
educate the public about the programme through public information campaigns (Letourneau,
This technology has already had an influence on policing, and it will continue to do so as
more and more agencies begin to use it. Those police departments that are contemplating the
use of body cameras should not take this step lightly. Once an agency starts using body
cameras, itwill be impossible to turn back since the public will become accustomed to seeing
video evidence. Body-worn cameras have the potential to improve the quality of police if
applied effectively. As aresult of these cameras, the public will have abetter understanding
of how the government operates and how officers are trained. They will also be able to
preserve evidence and film interactions with the public (Laming, 2019). These concerns must
be carefully examined both in terms of their practicality and their political implications.
When police departments begin using body-worn cameras, they need to consider how they
will affect their relationships with the community and the privacy of their officers. Body-
worn camera programmes should be implemented in stages, rather than all at once. Testing
the cameras in pilot projects is one way of doing this, as is including law enforcement
personnel as well as the general public in the process of implementation. Body-worn camera
rules must strike the correct balance among accountability, openness, and respect for
individuals’ privacy, while also ensuring that the connections between police and people of
the community remain strong. Body-worn cameras, like other emerging technologies, have
the potential to alter law enforcement. The use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement
officers must be carefully considered when implementing new regulations and procedures to
ensure that the shift is abeneficial one. Cameras should be used to help police protect and
serve their communities first of all and foremost, thus agencies must keep this in mind at all
times (Joh, 2016).
With the advancement of technology and the expansion of the locations where body-worn
cameras are used, new study avenues may be opened up. Body-worn cameras and other
technologies, such as face recognition, may need to be included in policy and research.
Tasers as well as other equipment used among police officers may also need to be taken into
consideration. There are anumber of new policy considerations raised by emerging policing
technology. The ramifications for privacy, community engagement, and internal departmental
matters can be particularly substantial when cameras on the body are used. It is critical that
agencies consider how their rules and procedures relate to these broader problems when they
build body-worn camera programmes. Policy considerations also include impact of cameras
on confidentiality and community relations, the concerns voiced by frontline police, the
implications that cameras establish in terms of court procedures and police legitimacy, and
the financial considerations that cameras provide. As the use of body-worn cameras spreads
to other settings, including as schools, experts and the general public are increasingly likely
to voice their concerns and criticisms.
Ariel, B., 2016. Police body cameras in large police departments. The Journal of Criminal
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Ariel, B., Sutherland, A., Henstock, D., Young, J., Drover, P., Sykes, J., Megicks, S. and
Henderson, R., 2016. Wearing body cameras increases assaults against officers and does not
reduce police use of force: Results from aglobal multi-site experiment. European journal of
criminology ,13 (6), pp.744-755.
Dodd, S. and Antrobus, E., 2022. Body cameras behind bars: Exploring correctional officers â€™
feelings of safety with body-worn cameras. Criminology & Criminal Justice ,22 (2), pp.323-
Fan, M.D., 2018. Body cameras, big data, and police accountability. Law & social
inquiry ,43 (4), pp.1236-1256.
Jennings, W.G., Fridell, L.A. and Lynch, M.D., 2014. Cops and cameras: Officer perceptions
of the use of body-worn cameras in law enforcement. Journal of criminal justice ,42 (6),
Joh, E.E., 2016. Beyond surveillance: Data control and body cameras. __ Surveillance &
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Letourneau, D.S., 2015. Police body cameras: Implementation with caution, forethought, and
policy. U. Rich. L. Rev. , 50 , p.439.
Laming, E., 2019. Police use of body worn cameras. Police practice and research ,20 (2),
McCamman, M. and Culhane, S., 2017. Police body cameras and us: Public perceptions of
the justification of the police use of force in the body camera era. Translational Issues in
Psychological Science ,3(2), p.167.
McClure, D., La Vigne, N., Lynch, M., Golian, L., Lawrence, D. and Malm, A., 2017. How
body cameras affect community members â€™perceptions of police. Results from arandomized
controlled trial of one agency â€™spilot. Washington, DC: Urban Instititue .
Nunes, I.S., 2015. Hands up, don’t shoot: Police misconduct and the need for body
cameras. Fla. L. Rev. ,67 ,p.1811.
Scheindlin, S.A., 2015. Will the widespread use of police body cameras improve police
accountability?. Americas Quarterly ,9(2), pp.24-27.
White, M.D., 2014. Police officer body-worn cameras: Assessing the evidence .Washington,
DC: Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice.
Williams, M., 2021. Explaining public support for body-worn cameras in law
enforcement. Police Practice and Research ,22 (6), pp.1603-1617.
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