PCC and Force Welcome Cop Cam Research Findings

8th November 2016

The Cambridge University study published in the Criminal Justice and Behaviour journal showed complaints by members of the public against officers fell by 93% over 12 months compared with the year before.

Almost 2,000 officers across four UK forces and two US police departments were monitored for the project.

Gwent Police rolled out 360 of these cameras to front-line officers in September 2015. The cameras are used by front line officers to upload, secure and distribute footage from incidents. The technology is used to gather evidence to investigate crime and the evidence can also be used to investigate complaints and hold the police to account.

The experiment involved police from Northern Ireland, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, and Cambridgeshire, as well as the Rialto and Ventura police departments in California, working for a total of almost 1.5 million hours. The findings showed there were 113 complaints made against officers during the year trial period, compared with 1,539 in the 12 months before - a reduction of 93%.

Encouraged by the findings, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: "The findings from this research is very welcome news and demonstrates how using these cameras can help save time and money for the criminal justice system by providing impactful and irrefutable evidence which prevents or strengthens cases going to criminal courts. The technology offers benefits in terms of transparency, building trust with the public as well as allowing officers to have an accurate and verifiable digital record of incidents.

These cameras can help protect police officers from wrongful accusations and can also help those who feel aggrieved over the way they have been treated by the Police. This ensures that we can continue our aim of providing the people of Gwent with an effective and efficient police service."

Head of Neighbourhood Policing for Gwent Police, Chief Superintendent Emma Ackland, who led the force-wide rollout programme, said: "Body Worn Cameras have become an integral part of policing within Gwent.

The evidence gathered has been vital in bringing offenders to justice and the swift resolution of public complaints. Feedback from our communities and officers is overwhelmingly positive, providing an improved confidence in our ability to deliver a high quality service."