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The latest Body-Worn Video (BWV) cameras are being used by officers as independent witnesses to support prosecutions and protect our communities.

Former Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable Andy Marsh is the national Body-Worn Video (BWV) policing lead, tasked with producing national guidance, as well as identifying best practice and future opportunities for the continued use of BWV.

Mr Marsh said: “The use of BWV in policing is becoming a key focus for investment across many forces and its use is now widespread within policing. The exciting and innovative technology stands to provide better standards of evidence and an accurate record of street encounters, as well as increased professionalism within the frontline.”

Hampshire Constabulary’s BWV cameras were initially rolled out across the force in 2013.
BWV devices are visible cameras that officers wear attached to their chest to capture video and audio evidence when attending all types of crime incidents to help support prosecutions.

First trialled by a UK police force in 2006 and 2007, the technology has been used in parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since 2008.

Hampshire Constabulary is continuing to issue one body-worn video camera to every frontline officer and PCSO, boosting the number in use from 500 to 2,300 cameras during the course of 2016/17.

The deployment of personal-issue Body-Worn Video (BWV) cameras (as of November 2016) is as follows:
Personal-issue RS2-X2 cameras since May 2015:

Response & Patrol: 1034
Roads Policing Unit: 140
Dog Support Unit: 29
Prevention & Neighbourhoods: 95
Firearms trials: 6

In addition to the above there are also 225 pool cameras across 34 locations

Hampshire Constabulary’s BWV equipment is currently supplied by Reveal Media.
Reveal Media supported the Isle of Wight Personal Issue Body-Worn Video Project (Operation Hyperion), which is this country's first county-wide deployment of Personal Issue BWV Cameras.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How will the public know they’re being recorded?

It is Hampshire Constabulary’s policy that no person should be surprised that they have been recorded on a BWV camera when being spoken to by a uniformed police officer.
 
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, police forces have a duty to inform a person that their actions are being recorded on BWV for evidence in support of criminal prosecutions.
 
This can be done by the officer stating clearly when a recording starts, or it can be as simple as the camera being obviously visible to a person being recorded.
 
Communications, in the form of wider publicity to the media and public, is also recommended under national Home Office guidelines.
 
What happens to the footage recorded on BWV devices?
 
The BWV footage is stored securely using software specifically designed for police use. The footage is stored in line with guidance from the Home Office as well as legislation including the:

  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Human Rights Act 1998

If there is a policing purpose, then BWV footage can be shared with a number of partners. This could include the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a criminal investigation, the local council or even the NHS. Evidential footage is retained in line with force policy, non-evidential footage will be deleted after 31 days.

What do I need to know about BWV if I want to make a complaint?

As non-evidential footage is deleted after 31 days, members of the public should be aware that any complaint that references the use of BWV needs to be made in a timely fashion to ensure that any evidential footage can be retained in line with force policy in the event that an investigation needs to take place.

After the initial 31-day period, deleted BWV footage that has been deemed as non-evidential cannot be recovered. 

Can a member of the public or outside organisation obtain video footage?

Requests for footage will be considered under the relevant laws, namely the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Click here to read how Hampshire Constabulary officers are asked to use BWV in domestic abuse cases.

Click here to read how Hampshire Constabulary officers are asked to use BWV when speaking with vulnerable adults and children.