Back in 2014 police officers in three areas of Kent piloted the use of bodyworn video cameras, and the positive results led to an extension of this initiative to other areas of the county, and ultimately to all frontline Kent based police offer being issued with the video cameras in 2016.
Positive early findings
The pilot schemes led to better behavior from suspects, fewer false complaints against officers, and fewer personnel being assaulted while on duty. Overall these results improved public-police force relationships, helped raise conviction rates and boosted the force’s budget by both reducing the time previously spent investigating complaints, and by having fewer officers off duty on sick leave after work-related assaults.
Incorporating the body worn camera into their regular daily uniform has had a major impact on the first year of post-trials policing in Kent. Particularly significant and positive results can be seen in terms of the number of complaints made against the police, which has fallen by 10% since the use of body worn video cameras went county-wide.
Figures released by The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) show that in 2016-2017 a total of 762 complaints were recorded against officers, which is ten percent lower than the corresponding number for the previous year. Security equipment companies such as https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/ are familiar with the benefits of these cameras, as the call for those working with the public to find ways to protect themselves grows.
Why body cameras help reduce complaints
A spokesperson for Kent Police’s Professional Standards Department praised the drop in complaints, acknowledging that body worn video cameras have definitely played a major role in this achievement, for two significant reasons.
Firstly, those being filmed become more responsible for themselves, making false claims and complaints less likely, and secondly, the camera acts as an extra layer of accountability for an officer’s actions, and the high standards of behavior expected of them as they represent the justice system. Kent police force’s official website now carries a clear explanation of the role of these cameras, information which reflects these expectations and their responsibility to the public https://www.kent.police.uk/ask-the-police/question/827/.
Stats from next year’s policing efforts will hopefully show a continuation of these positive results, and perhaps similar success in the number of crimes being reduced overall.