Miranda D (2019) Police body-worn cameras and rural settings. EUROCRIM 2019 (19th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology), Ghent University, Belgium, 18.09.2019-21.09.2019. https://www.eurocrim2019.com/scientific-program
Body-Worn cameras (BWCs) are audio and video recording devices that have been increasingly adopted by British police forces. This paper will explore the use of these devices in the UK and consider some significant teething problems that have been faced during its implementation. Drawing on a qualitative study conducted with two British police forces, I will analyse how these technologies can be perceived as a “safety net”, in particular when officers are single-crewed on foot patrol. Whilst being perceived as a helpful tool, there are some challenges that hinder its use in practice: a) the interaction between the body and the technology (movement, physical characteristics and angles); b) technical challenges (hardware and design of the camera, software and footage storage); and c) contextual challenges. Based on a set of semi-structured interviews with police officers, I will explore some of these contextual
challenges in more detail by considering how BWCs are used for policing purposes in rural settings.