How body worn cameras strengthen prosecution cases and support victims
Ian Davies, Chief Information Officer at North Wales Police, speaks about how Reveal body cameras are helping achieve the policing purposes of prosecuting offenders and bringing them to justice, whilst protecting vulnerable people.
“Earlier this year, police officers were sent to a report of a domestic incident taking place at a residential property in North Wales. Upon arrival, officers came across a male and female arguing in the street. The parties were separated, the male was placed in the police vehicle whilst the female was spoken to by an officer. The body worn camera was activated at this time, and recorded the female stating that she had been punched in her face by the male and also had other injures on her arms. The male was arrested and later charged with assault on the female.
"The body worn camera really strengthened the hand of the prosecutor"
“The following day, the female retracted her complaint and signed a pocket note book entry iterating that she would not support a prosecution. Further enquiries revealed there had been a history of violence against the female by the male, and that this violence was getting worse.
A not guilty plea was anticipated at court. Despite the victim being unsupportive, the service of a bad character notice together with a hearsay application for the video footage from the body worn camera was enough to prompt a guilty plea at the first hearing. The introduction of the video evidence from the body worn camera really strengthened the hand of the prosecutor when making a hearsay application and this ultimately led to an anticipated not guilty plea being changed to a guilty plea”.
“The purpose of this message is to highlight how useful and impactive the evidence obtained from a body worn camera can be in terms of strengthening the prosecution case and prompting guilty pleas at court. Additionally, it provides vital evidence when dealing with incidents of domestic violence and therefore supports victims in terms of the investigation, protection and sanctions that can be applied. The use of a body worn camera is thoroughly recommended as a means to achieve policing purposes of prosecuting offenders and bringing them to justice, and to protect vulnerable people.”
North Wales Police are using Reveal body cameras and evidence management software to tackle crimes such as domestic violence. Learn more about how body cameras work and how they can help.