Police around the country are increasingly starting to wear CCTV cameras on their bodies. Police in Banbury recently began trialling the so-called "body cams".
Surveillance cameras erode trust and so reduce a sense of community. Body cams take the erosion of trust to a new level - now the state doesn't even trust police officers. And it seems that the state doesn't want us to trust them either - body cams are yet another piece of paraphernalia that serves to further distance citizens from the human being that is the police officer. Police look more and more like the military.
So who claims body cams do any good? And is the dehumanisation of police officers offset by some huge reduction in crime? PC Froggat of Banbury police spoke to the Banbury Guardian:
Mr Froggat said the cameras had cut back on bad behaviour. "It's been a huge deterrant at close quarters during night patrols," he said.
('Police, Camera, Action', Banbury Guardian print edition, 26 June 2008, emphasis added)
An amazing claim, as this interview was published just 5 days after police began using body cams! Amazing because previous assessment of new policing tools has taken rigorous analysis by independent assessors measuring substantial data collected before and after implementation, and with specially set up control areas. Then again, not so surprising really considering that when rigorous analysis of CCTV technology is conducted by independent assessors measuring substantial data collected before and after implementation and with specially set up control areas, the results always show that CCTV is ineffective and a waste of money...