Study Shows Body Cameras Reduce Use of Force By Police

A study conducted by the University of Cambridge found that the presence of body cameras can reduce the use of force by police officers by about 50%.

According to a study recently published by the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, body-worn cameras reduced police officers’ use of force by roughly 50%.

The study was conducted over 12 months in Rialto, Calif., and was arranged by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology. During the study, complaints against police fell 90% compared with the previous year, Newsweek reports.

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Nearly 1,000 police shifts over the course of the year were randomly assigned as either “treatment” shifts, in which officers were equipped with high definition cameras; or “control” shifts, in which officers did not wear cameras. Researchers found that it was roughly twice as likely for force to be used in the control condition compared to the treatment shifts.

Researchers hypothesized that officers’ and subjects’ awareness of being filmed was a factor. They warned, however, that widespread camera use could lead to privacy and data management issues. 

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