UK Study Shows Police Body-Cams Reduce Complaints

October 4, 2016

 In a recent study by Cambridge University, complaints against officers made by the public fell by 93% over the course of a year with the use of body cameras.

 

In an experiment to see if police body cameras affected the number of complaints made against officers, almost 2000 police officers were monitored. Four UK and two US departments were monitored over the past year.

 

Over the last year, only 113 complaints were made against the officers that were monitored, showing a 93% drop in comparison to the previous year, which reported 1,539 complaints. The leader of the research team, Dr. Barak Ariel, told BBC that no other measures have led to such radical changes before.

 

Ariel commented, "I cannot think of any [other] single intervention in the history of policing that dramatically changed the way that officers behave, the way that suspects behave, and the way they interact with each other...Individual officers become more accountable and modify their behavior accordingly, while the more disingenuous complaints from the public fall by the wayside once footage is likely to reveal them as frivolous.”

 

While the Cambridge research shows that body cameras helped lower the number of complaints, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, or IPCC, shows that the overall trend of complaints made against police are increasing.

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