Help Forum

Help requested posted on 11th December 2018:

SCP body worn cameras

I have been asked to provide evidence for a committee report around whether body cameras on patrols are useful and whether they reduce the anti-social behaviour, speeding, drive throughs etc. Any information would be appreciated.

Emily Tester

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Response posted on 11th December 2018 by:
Liz Mapstone

T: 01934 426910

SCP body worn cameras

This was the advice we received about using body worn cameras.

From the ICOís Code of Practice on CCTV which section 7.2 (p27) provides some useful direction on the use of body worn video (BMV).

Key points:

1. It is important that you justify its use and consider whether or not it is proportionate, necessary and addresses a pressing social need.
2. It is highly recommended that you undertake a privacy impact assessment to demonstrate that this is the case.
3. Continuous recording will require strong justification as it is likely to be excessive and cause a great deal of collateral intrusion. This is because continuous recording is likely to capture people going about their daily business, as well as the individual who is the focus of your attention.
4. Individuals using BWV systems should be able to provide sufficient fair processing to data subjects. As BWV cameras can be quite small or discreet, and could be recording in fast moving or chaotic situations, individuals may not be aware that they are being recorded. It is therefore important that clear signage is displayed, for example on an individualís uniform, to show that recording is taking place and whether the recording includes audio. You should also think of ways to provide further information to data subjects if they wish to find out more information, for example, directing them to the privacy notice on your website, if you have one.
5. Because of the volume of personal data and potentially sensitive personal data that BWV cameras will process and the portability of them, it is important that you have appropriately robust technical and physical security in place to protect this information. For example, make sure devices can be encrypted, or where this is not appropriate have other ways of preventing unauthorised access to information.
6. As you may be recording a large amount of information, you need to ensure that you can store all of it and have a retention and disposal policy in place.
7. You should continue to monitor the use of the BWV system as a whole to see if it is still achieving its original purpose. If it appears that it is no longer achieving this purpose or it is no longer required, you should look at potentially less privacy intrusive methods to address the need.
8. If you are regularly going to share recorded information with third parties then it is important that you have a data sharing agreement in place with them.

We didn't go down the line of using it as the data protection issue was onerous.

Response posted on 11th December 2018 by:
Helen Wells


SCP body worn cameras

The following pieces of academic work might be of use to you? They seem to be publically available, but if you have trouble getting them, or if you'd like to discuss further, please feel free to email me.

My view would be that BWC is likely to have a 'civilising effect' on the behaviour of both the public and officers - but only IF the public is aware that BWC are being worn.

Ariel, B., Farrar, W.A. and Sutherland, A., 2015. The effect of police body-worn cameras on use of force and citizensí complaints against the police: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of quantitative criminology, 31(3), pp.509-535.

Ellis, T., Jenkins, C., & Smith, P. (2015). Evaluation of the introduction of personal issue body worn video cameras (Operation Hyperion) on the Isle of Wight: Final report to the Hampshire Constabulary. Portsmouth, UK: University of Portsmouth.

Response posted on 10th January 2019 by:
Peter Essex

T: 01234 228618

SCP body worn cameras

Emily, Hi.

Firstly, I'm sorry for the delay in posting this, I was on leave for a large part of December.

Here in Bedford Borough Council, our School Crossing Patrols do use Body Worn Video Cameras and have done since the latter part of 2014.

I would say that they do help to reduce anti social behaviour from motorists. Off hand, since we have had them we had two prosecutions for drive-throughs which did attract some (positive) press.

Along with a press release when the cameras were launched, we have had a lot less drive throughs and incidents since having the cameras, so I would conclude that they are beneficial.

If you woulf like more information, then please contact me.


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