In a special report the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Marie Anderson, evaluates the impact of the introduction of Body Worn Video (BWV) on complaints about the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI).
The report is in two parts and contains both statistical and qualitative analysis. The first part outlines the impact of the cameras on complaint numbers, the impact on a range of types of complaints and also on Police Ombudsman investigations. The second part highlights a number of case studies which identify instances when the new technology helped our investigations and instances when it did not.
The report also highlights international research on the issue. Much has been written about the potential benefits of the technology in dealing with policing related complaints. However, this report evidences a modest decrease in the number of complaints of around 9% overall with significant impact on complaint types such as those relating to search and arrest.
The study was collated over the initial period of the introduction of BWV and is time limited. A more in-depth study will be needed now that the technology has been mainstreamed and the PSNI have revised its approach making usage compulsory in some circumstances.
Source: Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, UK