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Body Worn Video Steering Group

Californian BWV study shows drop in police use-of-force

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A “randomised control trial” by the Rialto Police Department in California has shown that in addition to body worn video significantly reducing complaints against officers, Police use-of-force dropped by 59 percent.

The trial randomly assigned officers in shifts to be deployed with or without the cameras. They were required to record every incident – totalling 50,000 hours of data over one year.

Rialto figures show a dramatic drop in use-of-force

Figures showed that complaints against police were reduced by 88 percent, with only three recorded between February 2012-13.

Chief Tony Farrar said that these reductions were a direct result of officers wearing body worn video and as a result the cameras are now standard issue for police operations.

“This is a very valuable tool for policing,” he said. “Further work includes using the cameras on incidents of domestic violence and for paperless reports for road traffic collisions.

“These results carry significant implications for the future of the law enforcement profession.

“The next phase of our study is to quantify and analyse the financial impact associated with these significant reductions in both legal and physical risks.”

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