Police: Cameras

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd July 2015.

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Photo of Lord Harris of Haringey Lord Harris of Haringey Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had about the evidential use of images captured by the use of body-worn camera technology by police officers.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

The evidential use of body worn images is a matter for policing, with input from the criminal justice system. As the professional body for policing, the College of Policing published interim operational guidance in July 2014; this was developed in conjunction with a number of partners, including the courts and Crown Prosection Service. This guidance sets out the procedures police forces must use to ensure the integrity of body worn video evidence. Body Worn Video (BWV) footage is accepted as evidence in courts and there is real enthusiasm from the judiciary for its potential to encourage early guilty pleas and lead to significantly higher conviction rates.

However the College’s current guidance is clear that BWV material should be used to corroborate, rather than replace, traditional written statements and users should not rely on BWV for providing their evidence. Although a BWV recording may provide compelling evidence, it will not necessarily prove all aspects of a case and users must always be prepared to provide written evidence of anything pertinent to the case and not wholly represented by the recording.

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