Wednesday, November 26, 2014
police use of body cameras cuts violence and complaints
"I think we've opened some eyes in the law enforcement world. We've shown the potential," said Tony Farrar, Rialto's police chief. "It's catching on."
Body-worn cameras are not new. Devon and Cornwall police launched a pilot scheme in 2006 and forces in Strathclyde, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, among others, have also experimented.
But Rialto's randomised controlled study has seized attention because it offers scientific – and encouraging – findings: after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers' use of force fell by 60%.
"When you know you're being watched you behave a little better. That's just human nature," said Farrar. "As an officer you act a bit more professional, follow the rules a bit better."