Audit and control

Unfortunately, to date, whilst the majority of police forces can be applauded for making the investment in body worn devices, too many have failed to implement appropriate processes for managing evidence.

Mar 13, 2008
By Paul Jacques

Unfortunately, to date, whilst the majority of police forces can be applauded for making the investment in body worn devices, too many have failed to implement appropriate processes for managing evidence.

While working without specialised management software may appear feasable at first, especially with small numbers of units, this ad hoc attitude effectively prevents any wide scale deployment. And, in reality, even with just a few officers recording incidents during each shift it becomes extremely difficult to keep track of that media without robust processes. Indeed, it completely undermines some of the key officer productivity benefits this technology is designed to deliver.

Without systems designed specifically to deal with the BWV material, will anyone else have visibility of that evidence? And, crucially, will they remember key compliance requirements such as the need to delete non evidential recording after 31 days in accordance with the Data Protection Act, for example?

Furthermore, as video evidence is used increasingly in court, there will be a very clear need to demonstrate a robust audit trail of evidence creation and access. With no dedicated management software, the police simply cannot expect individual officers to deliver a legally respected audit trail without impossing a huge paperwork burden.

Indeed, the growing fear that video evidence is not being properly processed and stored has caused several forces to suspend use of BWV equipment until robust processes and appropriate media management solutions are in place. While BWV has the potential to deliver fantastic operational benefits, these forces simply cannot afford the risk of being unable to produce video evidence in court or endure a legal challenge to the quality of the audit process.

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