Early indications of body-worn video efficacy: A systematic review of literature

T.I.C.Cubitt1*, R.A.Lesic1, G.L.Myers1

1 NSW Police Force, Timothy Cubitt: cubi1tim@police.nsw.gov.au

Body-worn video (BWV) is a recent addition to the law enforcement landscape in Australia, however it has been utilised, and evaluated internationally. While peer reviewed literature is growing in this area, some evaluations remain as grey literature. As such this systematic review (Cubitt, Lesic, Myers & Corry, 2016) was designed to compare available literature on BWV as a means of discerning a trend in efficacy.

A literature search was conducted between July and August 2015. Selection was performed via standardised unblinded assessment by three reviewers. Studies were initially identified through abstract review. Studies were retained for full text analysis on the basis of conducting a trial of BWV. Selected studies included randomised controlled trials, trial evaluations, effects of BWV on the wider community, analysis of crime rates, costing of use, and impacts on the wider criminal justice system. A lack of peer review material resulted in grey literature featuring heavily, largely due to the technology being recent worldwide. This dearth of comparable methodologies, did not allow for a meta-analysis.

Of the records screened, 11 were retained for review, including five peer reviewed articles, and six articles of grey literatures. Results ranged considerably, in the UK a significant increase in incidents resulting in a criminal charge was shown; however charges were 80% less likely to progress to court post-implementation. In BWV equipped areas crime rate reductions of 26% overall were recorded. This resulted in estimated court and policing savings over $250,000 (AUD) per year. Similar results were shown in the USA, with increases in arrest rates amongst BWV equipped officers, however a significant reduction in complaints against officers was also shown. BWV demonstrates considerable potential as a law enforcement mechanism. While it is only in the early stages of implementation, there are noteworthy effects demonstrated in these early trials.

 

Cubitt, T.I.C., Lesic, R., Myers, G.L., Corry, R. (2016). Body-worn video: A systematic review of literature, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 0(0), 1-18

 

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