Reveal Police body worn cameras linked to Isle of Wight crime drop
The introduction of Reveal RS3-SX body cameras on the Isle of Wight has been linked to the drop in public order offences and assaults on officers.
The University of Portsmouth found that recorded crime on the island dropped by as much as 8% which has led Hampshire Constabulary to commit to a further 500 body cameras for their frontline officers, bringing the total number of Reveal body cams up to 2800 in the next year.
The BBC reported that "A picture is worth a thousand words” and Reveal body worn cameras are certainly having a striking effect in court cases.
“When a crime and the aftermath is captured on film” explained the BBC, “judges and juries are now able to see for themselves the emotion of the situation and the behaviour of an offender in that moment.
“Sometimes a far cry from the now remorseful-looking character wearing a suit in the dock.”
Reveal RS3-SX body cameras have been rolled out to a number of officers in the Hampshire force, not just the isle of white, over the past few years.
The University of Portsmouth researchers said its study, which was commissioned by Hampshire police, independently evaluated the year prior to and after 1 July 2013 when all officers on the Isle of Wight were issued with them.
It found public order crimes fell from 211 to 155, while assaults on officers dropped from 76 to 49.
The results also showed an increase in domestic assault prosecutions where, in some cases, police and the Crown Prosecution Service could rely on the footage without the need for victims to testify.
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, said: "[The report] provides irrefutable evidence and compelling support for the investment I have made in this technology.
"[It] identifies clear benefits to victims of crime, plus officers, and should be of some reassurance to society as a whole."
And Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, concurred "If these cameras are implemented properly, particularly with regard to whether officers are able to access the memory cards or tamper with the footage in another way, there is potential for this to improve accountability of the police."
The RS2-X2 body camera being used by Hampshire Constabulary is a sealed device with no access to the SD card. The footage cannot be deleted off the camera and our digital evidence management system DEMS provides a full audit trail for every digital file that is uploaded.