Body Worn Video
Information about Body Worn Videos and how they're used in Police Scotland.
What is Body Worn Video?
Body Worn Video refers to small, lightweight cameras which are visibly fitted to an officer’s uniform (usually on the chest).
The camera can be switched on and off by the officer to record both audio and video footage. Body Worn Video is for use when officers are responding to an incident. It is routine to inform the public when we are using body worn video cameras.
Where operationally viable, a camera is not turned on unless the member of public is made aware by the police officer.
That will continue to be the policy wherever possible. It will not be used covertly or for surveillance purposes.
Body Worn Video and Armed Policing
In February 2021, we asked you what you thought about our armed police officers using body worn video cameras at certain times when they are dealing with incidents.
When we introduce technology like this, we want to make sure we get it right for everyone. Your views are important to us. Almost 9,000 people took part in our survey.
- 90% of respondents supported the use of BWV;
- A large majority (78%) of respondents said that BWV has the potential to increase trust and confidence;
- 72% of respondents said that BWV will increase feelings of safety
These views helped us decide to go ahead with equipping our armed police officers across Scotland with body worn cameras.
This will now take place ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, from October 2021.
This British Sign Language video below provides frequently asked questions and answers relating to body worn video.
Body Worn Video for other officers
Additional to armed police receiving body worn video, Police Scotland asked the public their views on extending the technology out to other police officers. The consultation ran for three months over summer 2021.
Analysis is still taking place however responses to our national consultation will help inform our protocols, code of practice and training to ensure that body worn video cameras are used in an appropriate and proportionate way.
By doing this, we will be better equipped to protect the public, our staff and provide best evidence at court.
For further reading on Police Scotland’s body worn video policies and guidelines, please see these documents below.
- Body Worn Video for Armed Policing - Code of Practice
- Body Worn Video for Armed Policing - EqHRIA
- Body Worn Video for Armed Policing - Standard Operating Procedure
- Body Worn Video - Data Protection Impact Assessment
If you are interested in reading some of the research that is available on Body Worn Video in the UK, please use the links below;
Ellis, T., Jenkins, C. and Smith, P. (2015). Evaluation of the Introduction of Personal Issue Body Worn Video Cameras (Operation Hyperion) on the Isle of Wight: Final Report to Hampshire Constabulary. [online] Portsmouth: Institute of Criminal Justice Studies.