Body worn video cameras are small devices which are usually attached to the officers uniforms. These can capture the video and audio evidence of the encounter between the police and the general public. The camera keeps on recording the footage into an internal storage device and once the shift has ended the footage can be uploaded to a secure location. This footage can later on be used as evidence in the court or for any other legal proceeding.
How do body-worn video cameras work?
When the camera is turned on it starts recording videos in the form of 60 S loops however these videos will not be saved until the officer activates the camera to record all Encounters. Once the camera has been activated the previous 60 seconds of the video would also be included into the recording. The law enforcement officials would activate the camera at the start of an encounter and in normal circumstances continue recording until it is no longer necessary or the CCTV footage in the police station takes over.
The use of a body camera is incident specific which means that until and unless they are the part of a specific operation the police officer would not be recording any of the normal patrolling activities.
During the time the camera is recording its flashes the red lights which appear in the centre of the camera and people who are having an encounter with a police officer would be aware that they are being recorded. The officers can use the camera in order to provide evidence for any sort of Investigation or offence on the part of the suspect. To provide transparency during stop and search or when force is being used.
However an officer will always use a body camera when they are about to stop search or if they are going somewhere to arrest a person. If they are about to perform a search at a property or land they will switch on the camera and if they are attending a critical incident. Attending any sort of report for domestic abuse would also require the use of a body camera.
Body worn cameras manufactured by Comvision can help the police officers overcome challenges which they faced during Encounters with the civilians and it can also help them improve their practice in general. The technology is such that it can be mounted on the uniform as well on the officers eyeglasses. One of the main reasons why the use of body cameras has become popular is because it provides real-time information when used by officers on patrol. It can also help them record any encounter which they have during the contact with the members of the community.
The use of body worn camera has led to a faster resolution of complaints and lawsuits which might allege excessive force being used or any other form of misconduct on the part of the officer. Investigations of these cases which involve inconsistent accounts from Police officers or citizens, can be found to be not sustained when there is no footage or any corroborating witness available to back up the claim.