Police Scotland is the official police service for Scotland, formally established in April 2013 after the amalgamation of all eight of its territorial police forces. The service is the second largest police force in the United Kingdom, after the Metropolitan Police, covering the entire length and breadth of Scotland. Police Scotland’s key purpose is to ensure the safety of the people and communities in which it serves. Over past years, the desire to increase the efficiency of the service became a key priority. This, together with a heightened number of cases of assault and threatening behaviour towards police, prompted the service to seek a comprehensive solution; this solution was partially achieved through the introduction of Body Worn Cameras (BWC).
Officers are confronted with a wide variety of challenges each day when working to keep their communities safe. When faced with a threatening or already escalated situation, Officers are expected to remain in control and to gather evidence, even when anti-social behaviour or even physical aggression is directed towards them. Incidents such as these result in time-consuming paperwork, and minimal or unclear evidence often results in time spent in court for both Officers and members of the public.
With an aim to increase the quality and efficiency of its service, and that of the criminal justice programme, Police Scotland invested in a primary trial of Body Worn Video Cameras from Edesix. The roll-out of the VideoBadge, initially in Aberdeen, was directed not only at improving evidence gathering, but at increasing criminal conviction rates, implementing an end to end process to reduce time spent on paperwork and to assist the strategic aims of its Criminal Justice Partners. The initial trial resulted in significant success, and further investment in the Edesix VideoBadge.
From the information gathered during the initial trial period, the following key findings were made.
After the clear successes of the initial pilot, Police Scotland undertook a further roll-out of Body Worn Cameras, widening their use and resulting in the following findings:
Police Scotland currently utilise 339 VideoBadges which have been rolled out across A Devision which covers Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire & Moray Police Divisions.
Today, VideoBadges are used by Police Officers throughout Scotland and prove themselves to be a valuable asset in the collection of vital evidence and deterring aggressive behaviour on a daily basis.