French Police equipped with thousands of Reveal body cameras
French police are now routinely equipped with Reveal body cameras following a year-long trial that was judged a success by officers and police unions back in 2014.
Thousands of Reveal RS3-SX body cameras have since been rolled out to the French police service and are being used daily across the country. The RS3-SX with extended battery pack can film over 8 hours of video with sound and can be set to "pre-record" mode, whereby the camera permanently keeps a record of the last 30 seconds, so that any action that takes place just before the camera is “switched on” can also be recorded.
The cameras were initially used in designated areas of high crime, known in France as “Priority Security Zones”, where the trial use was deemed a huge improvement by officers.
Police chiefs said the trial, which involved 235 cameras used over a year from May 2013, saw zero violent incidents during police questionings or arrests when the Reveal cameras were used.
“The behaviour of people being arrested or searched improves dramatically when they know they are being filmed,” Richard Mousset, General Secretary of the SDPM police union.
The front facing screen on Reveal body cameras is a visible demonstration that a subject's actions are being recorded and can protect officers by deterring verbal and physical aggression.
Fewer false complaints
“It also takes a huge burden off the police,” he explained. “Very often, suspects who have been arrested make complaints of police abuse or racism, and these are nearly always followed-up with some kind of enquiry.
“With filmed evidence, these complaints are obviously far fewer,” he added. “The police can do their jobs with confidence.”