The body worn camera has become an issue of discussion recently due to the number of cases in which the police have come under scrutiny for their treatment of members of the public – particularly the treatment of black men. There has been much debate about the use of force by the police; therefore, cameras worn on the body could be a way of recording incidents for evidence about the treatment of alleged offenders.
Cameras are used all over the western world to record incidents around buildings and cars. The body worn camera is a newer concept and using cameras in this way is not something that has been widely considered in the past; however, this concept could be a ground-breaking way of recording evidence and incidents to protect everyone involved and ensure transparency and the proper treatment of members of the public by the police. This is of particular concern in the US, where the police have been criticised for their treatment of young black men.
The technology used in these cameras has experienced growth in interest and investment. The US government has pledged $20m (£15.4m) in funding grants to complete pilot projects involving the use of these cameras. One issue will be the storage solutions for the cameras, as the amount of data recorded will be enormous. Cloud services for storage could be an option, so this is something to consider. There are also concerns around training, security and support, and cost issues to consider.
Cameras worn on the body are available from companies such as https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/body-worn-cameras. Early systems have shown promise, with lightweight units that could eventually be used to fit onto sunglasses or a hat making head worn cameras an ideal option. The technology must be able to store four hours of footage and have an eight-hour battery life, while field of vision must be at least 50 degrees. There should also be the ability to automatically label the location and the time of day of the video.
The use of the body worn camera could be the ideal way to protect the public from unnecessary or inappropriate force by the police. It would also protect the police from any potential false claims against them. This transparency would benefit everyone and improve relations between the police and the public.