Body cameras reduce need for police taser use

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle has said that police officers who wear body cameras have Tasered fewer suspects in West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire Police introduced body-worn video (BWV) in 2016 and Battle says that people ‘modify their behaviour’ when cameras are in use, leading to 27 per cent fewer Taser incidents in 2017, from 78 incidents in 2016 to 57 last year. This is despite a 26 per cent increase in incidents.

Battle said: "Evidence suggests people realise there'll be an independent record of what's happened so people modify their behaviour. They're less likely to be violent and that in turn means that officers are less likely to use force to resolve the situation. Suspects are aware that they're being recorded and that's helping officers to use less force to resolve [incidents] safely, I don't think this is a case of officers being reluctant to use Tasers at all."

West Yorkshire Police has 2,300 of the 63,000 cameras used by police officers across the UK, with the Metropolitan Police having 21,000 - the highest number in use in the UK.

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