Body Worn Video

Body Worn Video Cameras (BWV) are miniature cameras with microphones that can be used to record video and audio evidence of events encountered by wearers.

BWV Benefits

When worn overtly, BWV acts as a deterrent to criminal conduct because knowing they are being recorded on video (and the associated increased prospects of being identified, prosecuted and convicted) makes it less likely that parties to a situation will behave illegally. This includes those wearing the BWV.

The availability of video evidence of an incident increases transparency of the processes carried out and greatly reduces the scope for false allegations and malicious complaints. It can also speed up complaint investigation and resolution and, in addition, result in guilty pleas being entered earlier in proceedings and stronger sentences too.

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said in 2016: “Our experience of using (BWV) cameras already shows that people are more likely to plead guilty when they know we have captured the incident. That speeds up justice, puts offenders behind bars more quickly and protects potential victims…The mere presence of this type of video can often defuse potentially violent situations….and…also provide clearer evidence when it’s been alleged that we got things wrong.”

Popular with Police

BWV technology has proved very attractive to UK Police. In 2006, Devon and Cornwall Police became the first UK police force to introduce BWV. By 2010, 32 UK Police Forces (71%) were using BWV. Now, almost every officer in the UK has access to BWV for their front-line duty.

Ideal for all kinds of law enforcement

BWV is not exclusively for use by Police. The past few years has seen an escalation in the use of BWV in Her Majesty’s Prisons, Border Agency, Court Enforcement, Security Guarding, Door Supervision, Event Supervision and Local Authority Licensing and Enforcement, (including Traffic Wardens, Taxi Rank Marshals and Litter Enforcement.)

Healthcare Security Examples:

October 2016 – BWV introduced at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

August 2017 – BWV introduced at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Sept 2017 – BWV introduced at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

See also: May 2016 – Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Body Worn Video – Privacy Impact Assessment

Retail Security Example:

In March 2018, ASDA announced that a trial of BWV at four of its stores had resulted in a 29% reduction in violent incidents!

Home Office Advice and Guidance

The Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) is the primary science and technology interface between Home Office ministers and policy makers, front-line delivery partners and the suppliers of science and technology.

Utilising the experience of UK police forces deploying BWV devices and through consultation with industry, CAST has helpfully produced and published:

  • Technical Guidance highlighting the key issues to be considered by all those interested in purchasing and deploying BWV (
  • Guidance on Safeguarding Body Worn Video data (6/02/2017).
  • Downloadable BWV icon images that indicate the presence of BWV devices (22/06/2017).

Guidance for non-Police use of BWV

Reveal Media (suppliers of BWV to more than 19 UK Police forces) have published useful Guidance for the non-Police use of overt body worn video devices.

Sharing Best Practice

The Body Worn Video Steering Group facilitates networking and learning to help organisations maximise the benefits of body worn video by sharing information, ideas and best practices.

Aim to meet the British Standard for BWV

A British Standard that provides technical and operational recommendations on the use of BWV was published June 2017.

BS 8593:2017 – Code of practice for the deployment and use of Body Worn Video (BWV)

  • Covers planning and operational recommendations
  • Explores device recommendations, such as functionality, weight, image quality, encryption and data management
  • Includes data management and security issues, including data integrity, audit trails, storage and sharing, and redaction
  • Addresses the training needs of suppliers’ staff, BWV users, data handlers and operators
  • Supplies good practice principles for the use and auditing of BWV

BWV Suppliers

Vestcam From Hire Witness Body Worn Surveillance Camera – (HW260)