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Police Use of Body Worn Video


Please provide the following information pertaining to the use of body-worn videos (BWVs), also known as body-cams, by your Force.

1. Use

1.1. Does your Force make use of BWV?  S21

1.2. When did your Force begin to use BWV  

1.3. Do you have plans in place to begin to use BWV?

2. Stock

2.1. The number of BWVs owned Answer

2.2. The number of BWVs in operational use

2.3. Whether plans are in situ to invest in a greater number of BWVs. If applicable, how many and when.

3. Policy and training

3.1. The specific Force policy for BWVs. Please provide the necessary policy document.

3.2. Force policy for which officers are required to wear and operate BWVs. Please provide the necessary policy document.

3.3. Details of the training given to officers on BWVs. Please provide details of duration and frequency of training.

4. Technical information

4.1. Manufacturer details/ model of BWVs owned

4.2. The software used to transfer and view footage from BWVs to a computer

(Policy Doc)

4.3. The position on the body that an officer is to wear a BWV (policy Doc)

5. Transfer and retention of footage

5.1. The form and degree of encryption used on the BWV files.

Please provide :- encryption algorithm details key length (if any) and/or version of software used for encryption

5.2. The duration for which BWV footage is typically retained on computer before a decision regarding deletion or retention is made

5.3. The process by which footage is deleted e.g. by a manual process or by specialist software  (policy Doc) The process by which footage is tagged for deletion The process by which footage is tagged for retention The decision maker as to whether footage is to be deleted or retained

6. Complaints For the period 1 January 2010 to 18 November 2016:

6.1. The number of complaints made to your force from members of the public concerning the use of BWVs

6.2. If applicable, the natures of these complaints e.g. malfunction, inappropriate usage, DPA issues, confrontations not recorded etc.


1. Avon and Somerset Constabulary began a trial of BWV on 17 August 2015. Please see the below link for further information.

Question 1.3. is not applicable.

2. Avon and Somerset Constabulary own 2300 BWVs. 2100 of these are in use with a further 200 waiting to be deployed. There are no current plans to increase this number.

3. Please see the attached policy. The hyperlinks have been removed as they are redundant and relate to other policies on our Force intranet.

3.3 Following a web based learning module, officers receive three hours of classroom training. The learning objectives are as follows:

  1. Effectively use the Reveal Body Worn Video Camera (BWVC), including recording/quick recording, playback and marking of footage for evidential purposes
  2. Upload footage/evidence from the BWVC into Reveal DEMS
  3. Edit footage within Reveal DEMS, including taking still photos and clipping original videos
  4. Use the correct naming convention for videos taken and comply with retention policies
  5. Book the footage into Niche using the specifically designed OEL template
  6. Competently navigate Reveal DEMS and search on the system effectively
  7. Advise as to when they are to commence/cease recording and understand how the use of BWVC can impact upon diversity issues, vulnerable children and victims
  8. Navigate to a variety of help tools to support them with the use of EvidenceWorks
  9. Understand BWVC policies and procedures
  10. Understand the National Decision Model (NDM) and recognise where there is potential for bias to impact upon decision making.

4.1. Avon and Somerset Constabulary use RS2-X2Lcameras supplied by REVEAL Media.

4.2. REVEAL Media DEMS (Digital Evidence Management System.

4.3. Avon and Somerset Constabulary officers wear the video camera on the chest of their compulsory wear body armour.

5. I am unable to provide a response to all parts of question 5.1as the information is exempt under section 31 – Law Enforcement. This is a qualified and prejudice based exemption which means there is a requirement to identify and evidence the harm that would be caused by disclosure and consideration given to the public interest.

Harm considerations

Information will not be disclosed where the current or future law enforcement role of the force could be compromised by the release of that information, i.e., where the prevention/detection of crime, the apprehension/prosecution of offenders or the administration of justice may be hindered as a result of the release of information.

Placing information into the public domain in respect of the encryption algorithms and encryption software used to protect the security of information will erode the police services ability to safeguard this information. There are concerns associated with the disclosure of sensitive information that could adversely affect law enforcement. Certain information if released could help facilitate a breach of security by a third party.  This information could be used by a hacker to gain access to our information if they were to penetrate our network. It could lead to the identification of sensitive personal information of people that have come to police notice, or have an adverse effect on a policing operation. This information, with other pieces in the public domain, could undermine the forces ability to protect the data. Subsequently this will impact on our ability to effectively police the communities we serve affecting public safety.

Public interest considerations

Factors favouring disclosure:

Disclosure of this information could aid public debate and awareness of the technology and software we employ.

Factors favouring non-disclosure

The Police Service has a duty to deliver effective law enforcement ensuring the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension or prosecution of offenders, and administration of justice is carried out appropriately. Identifying specific information in respect of the Constabulary's IT security would enable a third party to exploit any potential vulnerability within our systems. The release of this information could provide a tactical advantage to offenders which would negatively impact on public safety and undermine the policing purpose. 

Balance test

When balancing the public interest test we have to consider whether the information should be released into the public domain.  Arguments need to be weighed against each other. 

The benefits of public debate are recognised, however the comparative arguments in favour of non-disclosure, which in this case is our ability to prevent and detect crime, by far out way these.  The Police service will not disclose information which will undermine law enforcement thereby assisting those intent on committing crime.  On balance therefore the decision is that this information will not be disclosed.  This represents a refusal notice for this part of your request.

5.2-5.3. Please see the attached policy for our response to the above questions.

6.1. For the period 1st January 2010 to 18th November 2016 there were 5 complaints from members of the public recorded concerning the use of BWV’s (Body Worn Videos).

6.2. Please see the nature of the complaints received in the table below. Please note that these are complaints only, and following investigations, the Outcomes are shown.

Year of Complaint

Outline Details of   Complaint



The complainant alleges that the officer recorded a private conversation on private premises without   permission.

Local Resolution - by Division


The complainant alleges that the officer has filmed arrest attempts when attended the complaints home   address.

No Case to Answer


The complainant alleges that the officers conspired to give a selective picture of events during an arrest   by turning their body worn cameras on and off.

No Case to Answer


The complainant alleges that the officer turned their body cam off when their colleague was threatening   them.

Local Resolution - by Division


The complainant alleges that the officer deliberately turned their body cam off prior to verbally abusing   them.


FOI reference: 146/17.

Date of request: 01.02.17.

Related documents

  • PDF icon Body Worn Video Policy
    Last updated: 31 March 2017