Webster CWR & Leleux C (2016) The Rise of Body-Worn Video Cameras: A New Surveillance Revolution? (Presentation) The 7th Biennial Surveillance and Society Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 20.04.2016-23.04.2016. http://www.ssn2016.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/Booklet_Abstracts_2016.pdf
The use of body-worn video (BWV) in the UK is growing steadily and is being used routinely by public officials in relation to policing, community safety, car parking and in the public transport environment. It is being introduced for a variety of reasons, including, to deter assaults on staff, to provide evidence of incidents and to record interactions between service providers and users. Despite their growing use relatively little is known about the numbers of devices deployed, their technical capability, costs, and governance arrangements, or whether BWV complies with data protection and other legislation. This paper seeks to address this knowledge gap, by providing preliminary evidence about the use of BWV in a number of public service settings in Scotland. It provides a basic overview of the numbers of BWV deployed, their primary purpose, cost, as well as a comparison of data processing arrangements and governance practices, and some of the practical issues associated with the effective deployment of this technology. The widespread use of BWV is becoming normalised in encounters between citizens and public officials and arguably represents a new dimension to citizen-state relations. In the US there have been calls from politicians for police officers to be routinely equipped with BWV, following the deaths of young black males in police custody. The investigation into the police shooting in 2011 of Mark Duggan in the UK, called for ‘urgent improvement in the accountability of police operations after it found that a lack of audio or video material made it impossible to know with certainty exactly what happened.’ However, the diffusion of BWV has not been accompanied by guidelines governing their use and oversight, and it is apparent that differing approaches to deployment and data management are emerging. It is evident that we currently know very little about the diffusion of BWV.
Governance of body-worn video technology
Public services in Scotland
Police and body-worn video
A journal article will be developed from the conference presentation.