How body worn video cameras can be used at a protest
A brief guide to how body worn video cameras can be used at a protest (UK edition).
5th May 2021
- Body worn video (BWV) cameras can be attached to a police officer’s clothing and record video, including sound, from the officer’s perspective.
- BWV cameras may be used at protests to monitor actions of protestors. They do not usually capture the police officer’s own actions.
- Footage captured by BWV cameras can be processed by facial recognition technology (FRT) software.
- If you want to try to maintain your anonymity, there are a few things you could think about, such as considering wearing a face covering such as a bandana.
- There are other steps you can take too, but none are perfect solutions…
What do Body Worn Video cameras do?
- Body worn video (BWV) cameras can be attached to a police officer’s clothing – often at chest, shoulder or head level – and record video, including sound, from the officer’s perspective.
- BWV cameras will probably be visible to you, and when it’s recording, a flashing light should appear on the device.
How might body worn video cameras be used at a protest?
- BWV cameras may be used at protests to monitor actions of protestors.
- They do not usually capture the police officer’s own actions.
- Outside the context of protests, BWV cameras are normally switched on only at the start of an incident. But at a protest, they may remain switched on throughout.
- Some cameras require the video to be uploaded to a server manually afterwards, but some newer BWV cameras enable the footage to be live streamed back to a police station.
- The footage may be processed afterwards, for example, by facial recognition software.
What to think about when going to a protest
- While the Met Police, for example, claim that BWV cameras act as an ‘independent witness’, individual police officers are able to switch the cameras on and off or decide where to direct the camera, so they are in control of what they record - and don’t record.
- See our separate guide about Facial Recognition Technology regarding the processing of BWV footage by facial recognition software.
You can download this guide as a jpeg by saving the image below, or by downloading the pdf version in 'Attachments'.