New panel set up to scrutinise police use of Body Worn Video
A new panel to scrutinise the police use of Body Worn Video cameras has been set up by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.
David Lloyd agreed establishment of the group to further enhance transparency and accountability of video camera use by officers and to ensure it is used responsibly and ethically.
After a successful pilot following the Commissioner’s action in his Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan to set up the Panel, the newly formed BWV Scrutiny Panel will join the existing scrutiny panels for Stop and Search and Use of Force.
Body Worn Video (BWV) has become an integral tool for modern policing, providing critical evidence, promoting offer safety, and improving trust between the police and the community.
Mr Lloyd said: “BWV is a useful and vital tool for today’s officers on the front line. Officers are encouraged to turn it on during interactions with members of the public, and obligated to do so in certain circumstances, such as when attending domestic violence calls.
“Often footage recorded can be used in evidence in court, even if the victim is reluctant to proceed with a prosecution. It is also useful in monitoring officers conduct with members of the public to ensure they are conducting themselves to the highest standards.”
Through random dip sampling of Force Control Room data for priority immediate calls, the Panel reviews officers use of BWV by making sure cameras are switched on at the earliest opportunity, that members of the public are made aware that they are being recorded, and that officer decision making is clear and complete.
Incidents being reviewed include Domestics, Mental Health, Traffic Stops and Anti-Social Behaviour. The Panel have highlighted learning opportunities which are fed back to officer training.
Volunteer Ann Hunter who Chairs the panel said: “I enjoyed being part of the team which set up this panel. It has been very encouraging to observe the good work our police force does in our community. It has also been rewarding to have an impact on the consideration of future policies and forming fair and consistent process for the panel.”
The diverse Panel is made up of eight members of the community who either live, work or study in Hertfordshire.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire will be advertising for volunteers this autumn for a range of volunteer opportunities, which will now include the Body Worn Video Panel.