In this era, anyone can record a video and share it with friends using a smartphone in real-time, something that was not possible some decades ago. However, the use of body cameras by police or law enforcers is still a contentious subject in many countries, but because a growing number of states continue to embrace this technology, we can foresee the use of cameras becoming mainstream for security systems in the forces.
They are tiny devices that can be mounted in hidden parts of a body or uniform or other wearables such as sunglasses, hats or helmets. These cameras are built to last long hours before batteries require a recharge to ensure a whole day’s coverage.
Here are the pros and cons of using personal body cameras in the day-to-day life:
According to camera coverage, the wearer of the body camera has the privilege as to when to record and when to deactivate. That means it is not necessarily a requirement that all the day’s events must be captured. In the case of a police officer, the cameras can be activated only when an officer is engaging civilians or in scenes that require concrete evidence.
Body cameras can infringe on the privacy of the wearer and the one who’s being recorded for the purposes of collecting concrete evidence permissible in the court of law. For a long time now, the privacy issue has been an issue of contention even when it is the law enforcers using it at their workplace or during their day-to-day duties. The body-worn cameras worn by the law enforcers might scare away volunteers who could be willing to provide witness information for fear of public exposure and other threats that might infringe their privacy when volunteering to provide crucial information to the court of law.
Another issue with wearing a body cam onsite is the technical part of it that might prevent the proper functioning of the camera. If it fails to record critical situations that could help solve stalemate, for example, the camera might be working but the recording device might be at fault, or any other component of the equipment failing to work correctly might lead to the loss of critical evidence and information that could help vindicate or incriminate.
The other con for body-worn cameras is that they are extremely expensive, and they will continue to require maintenance costs, and the storage devices with larger memory capacities to be able to record all incidences without running out of space. Another issue is the storage and the access privileges that might lead to compromised information or evidence tampered with by unscrupulous handlers.
Although body-worn cameras have some cons, their pros still outweigh the disadvantages, because of the efficiency it provides to the justice systems. Body cameras cut the need for eye witness in case of an incident and it keeps the police on duty in check for misconduct and malpractice because their behaviour and conduct can be retrieved in real-time.
Although body-worn cameras have their cons in regard to their usage, their pros far outweigh their disadvantages and it is something that modern-day law enforcers must embrace to make their work easier. Knowing where the technology is headed, the earlier the law enforcers embrace this kind of technology the better.