Body-worn cameras ‘on the move’: exploring the contextual, technical and ethical challenges in policing practice

Diana Miranda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The body-worn camera (BWC), an audio and video recording device, has been increasingly adopted by law enforcement across the globe. Drawing on a qualitative study, this paper will explore the use of these mobile devices in the UK and examine the challenges that have been faced during its implementation in two British police forces. In particular, we will discuss how these cameras move with the police officer’s bodily movements (both intentionally and unintentionally) and are used for policing purposes in different settings (such as urban and rural contexts or different operational units). Based on a set of semi-structured interviews with 26 police officers, this article will explore the contextual, technical and ethical challenges that hinder the use of BWCs in such settings. This study concludes that these practical and techno-social challenges are often interlinked. The context of use of these cameras and how they operate technically are connected, often raising significant ethical issues particularly for data management and storage. Ultimately it is argued that the operational perspective of the frontline officer is invaluable when designing and implementing technologies so they are policeman-proof.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-34
Number of pages17
JournalPolicing and Society
Volume32
Issue number1
Early online date8 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022

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