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Do Body Cameras Affect the Quality of Victim-Police Interactions in Field Interviews?

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dc.contributor.author Davis, Robert
dc.contributor.author Johnson, Kalani
dc.date.accessioned 2019-08-14T20:31:14Z
dc.date.available 2019-08-14T20:31:14Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.citation Davis, Robert; Johnson, Kalani. (2019). Do Body Cameras Affect the Quality of Victim-Police Interactions in Field Interviews? National Police Foundation, 19 pgs. en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://www.policefoundation.org/publication/do-body-cameras-affect-the-quality-of-victim-police-interactions-in-field-interviews/
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11990/1515
dc.description Report en_US
dc.description.abstract Using a true experimental design, the study we conducted examined the quality of information provided to the police by victims and witnesses under three conditions: (1) officer does not have a body camera, (b) officer with a body camera requests permission to record interview, and (c) officer with a body camera notifies victim or witness that they are being recorded, and switches camera off only if explicitly requested to do so by the citizen. It was our hope that results of the study would provide empirical data to inform law enforcement policy on how officers wearing body cameras should approach victims. Consistent with some previous research, we did not find differences between any of these conditions in victim ratings of their interaction with a police officer. Our field test was based on the assumption that people would notice and react to police body cameras. That assumption proved to be largely wrong. Only a small minority of victims surveyed believed that the officer they spoke with was wearing a body camera, and the percentage that did notice was consistent across treatments: That is, victims in both of the body camera conditions were no more likely than victims in the no camera control condition to report that the officer they spoke with was wearing a body camera. Extensive observational data documented that, in 98% of the interactions observed in which officers wore cameras, victims did not visibly react to being recorded, even when being told that they were being filmed. No victim objected to being recorded in the 321 incidents that researchers observed. Further, our survey data analysis determined that, even when victims were aware of officers wearing body cameras, there was no change in how they rated their interactions with the officer. Thus, the major finding in our study is that most victims do not notice body cameras and when they do notice, they do not object to being recorded. Our findings support a body camera policy which does not require that victims give consent to having body cameras on. Rather, officers should be given a degree of discretion to discontinue recording in sensitive situations, or situations in which victims strongly object, as long as they record the reason for deactivating the recording. Our results suggest that officers will have to use such discretion only infrequently. (Author Text) en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher National Police Foundation en_US
dc.subject Research en_US
dc.subject Victims en_US
dc.subject Witness to Violence en_US
dc.subject Police en_US
dc.subject Law Enforcement en_US
dc.subject Body Camera en_US
dc.subject Interviews en_US
dc.subject Investigation en_US
dc.subject Investigators en_US
dc.subject Public Awareness en_US
dc.subject Public Opinion en_US
dc.subject Community Perceptions en_US
dc.subject Community Attitudes en_US
dc.subject Cooperation en_US
dc.subject Privacy en_US
dc.subject Citizens en_US
dc.subject Victim Satisfaction en_US
dc.subject Crime Reporting en_US
dc.title Do Body Cameras Affect the Quality of Victim-Police Interactions in Field Interviews? en_US
dc.type Other en_US


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