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Sussex Police Federation

Sussex Police Federation urges force to allow more Body Worn Video to be shared

24 August 2020

Sussex Police Federation is urging Sussex Police to share more body worn video footage with the public.

The PFEW has written to Chief Constables asking them to consider publicising police body-worn video footage to better protect officers and to show the full story behind police interaction clips which appear on social media.

It said it’s concerned with the growing trend of police officers being vilified after selective clips of police interactions are shared on social media and then broadcast by the media.

Sussex Police Federation Chairman Matt Webb has already got the ball rolling with his Chief Constable.

“I have been a keen advocate for some time of the service as a whole being more prepared to explain actions rather than either apologise or change,” he said.

“Recent events of snap shots of police use of force circulated on social media is a prime example.

“The use of force is never pretty to look at but there are occasions where the use of force by police is legitimate, justifiable and necessary and we should not shy away from providing the full picture and actively justifying why we have done something.

“I have already shared the letter with my Chief and the Head of our PSD to encourage them to form an opinion and actively take part in the debate that will inevitably follow in the coming months – I am pleased with the initial reaction I received from them which was positive and along the same lines as my own position,” he added.

Research led by the University of Cambridge's Institution of Criminology shows the use of BWV is associated with a 93 per cent reduction in citizen complaints against police officers.

The cameras are also a useful deterrent for those who may be considering assaulting an officer, as their actions will be caught on camera.