Australian Institute of Criminology

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Police detainee perspectives on police body-worn cameras

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 537

Emmeline Taylor, Murray Lee, Matthew Willis and Alexandra Gannoni
ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, October 2017

Abstract | Recent years have seen the introduction of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) in many countries. Despite the costs involved in purchasing equipment and storing the large amounts of data generated, there is a dearth of evidence to support their mainstream use as part of law enforcement activities. There remains little understanding about the impact and effectiveness of BWCs, and less still on how the police, members of the public and, importantly, arrestees perceive and experience the cameras. In this study, 899 adult police detainees were interviewed about their perceptions and experiences of police BWCs through the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program. Findings suggest that police detainees in Australia are largely supportive of the use of police BWCs, but this was predicated on a number of operational and procedural requirements. The findings have implications for the use of BWCs as an everyday part of policing apparatus.