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Blog: Can Body Worn Cameras Increase the Public’s Trust in Police Services?    Published: 08/08/2023

Can Body Worn Cameras Increase the Public’s Trust in Police Services? 

According to UK government statistics, public trust in the country’s police forces has decreased in recent years, from 62 per cent in 2017 to 55 per cent in 2020. Trust in the police is vital in a safe society, as it strengthens the connection between the public and law enforcement agencies, encourages people to engage in anti-crime initiatives, and increases the sharing of vital intelligence to reduce crime and apprehend suspects. Recent incidents, such as the arrest of legitimate protestors in London on Coronation Day, for which an apology has been made, only serve to further undermine the public’s trust in the police.

In this article, we will explain how body worn cameras can help to strengthen trust in the police.

Are body worn cameras effective?

Are body worn cameras effective?

Police body worn cameras have become a common sight in recent years. Initially introduced to capture live incidents on camera and provide irrefutable evidence to support prosecutions, body worn cameras have developed a new role that increases transparency and reduces the likelihood that officers can act outside the law when dealing with criminal suspects.

The need for trust between the public and police services cannot be overstated. The police have a responsibility to protect and serve the community, but they need the trust of the public to do so effectively. When trust is lacking, a breakdown in communication can occur, leading to misunderstandings, resentment, racial tension, and violence.

Body worn cameras can help build trust between the police and the public in several ways:

Increased transparency

It’s vital that the people who are trained and paid to enforce the law abide strictly by it – otherwise the rule of law is undermined and, for many, becomes irrelevant. When officers wear body cameras, their interactions with the public are documented so, if misconduct occurs, appropriate action can be taken. This evidence can be used to hold officers to account for their actions and instils confidence in the public that the police act with integrity at all times.

Faster complaint resolution

Body worn police cameras can also help to resolve complaints more quickly. When a member of the public makes a complaint, the footage from the officer’s body camera can be studied to gather facts and determine what happened. The visual and audio evidence can be compared to the accounts provided by the complainant, the officer, and any witnesses, and ensure an accurate decision is made to uphold or reject the complaint. This process is often faster and more efficient than traditional methods of dispute resolution.

Increased compliance

Body cameras can also work to increase compliance from the public. When people know that they are being recorded, they are more likely to comply with officers’ requests and act in a calmer, less aggressive manner. This can lead to quicker resolutions and fewer incidents of conflict, thereby protecting officers and making it less likely that minor incidents will become dangerous.

Contact DTS Solutions for more information

For more information about our range of body worn cameras, or to request a free, no-obligation demonstration, please get in touch with DTS Solutions today on 01480 407740.