Case Study Looks in on Body-Worn Cameras

A case study conducted in conjunction with the Queensland Police Service in Australia and a manufacturer of body-worn cameras demonstrated the effects of body-worn cameras on domestic and family violence (DFV) cases. The case study showed an increase in charges filed, arrests, and convictions for DFV cases following a deployment of 5,100 body-worn cameras by the agency.

A video highlighting the results of the study can be viewed here.

The Queensland Police Service mandated that all officers document DFV situations with the Axon body-worn cameras. According to a press release, "The presence of body-worn cameras at the scene of the incident has proven to cause abusers to admit guilt and avoid trialsaving time and money for police agencies. In cases that have gone to trial, the presence of video has led to an increase in conviction rates. Subsequently, more victims have been encouraged to come forward and report on incidents of not only domestic violence, but assaults and life-endangering acts."

The case study, conducted between July 2016 and September 1, 2017, found a 60-70% decrease in police summary hearings. Video footage can be used in "Accelerated Evidence Trial" programs, which often resolve domestic violence cases before going to a full trial—saving time and money for the agency. The study also revealed a 22% projected increase in DFV reporting.

“The after-image of a domestic violence incident tends to be messy and chaotic - from even one frame it’s obvious that things are not normal,” says Detective Inspector Marc Hogan of the Queensland Police Service. “Capturing that chaos on paper used to be virtually impossible, but Axon has enabled us to preserve these tragic scenes. Domestic and family violence continues to be an issue across Australia, but thanks to this technology we are making real strides - both toward increasing visibility and bringing a greater number of prosecutions.”

“Seeing the Queensland Police Service success in this area has been truly inspiring,” says Axon CEO and founder, Rick Smith. “Not only has the body-worn camera initiative enabled law enforcement to more effectively prosecute these cases, but it has given citizens the confidence and courage to increasingly come forward with their own stories. Seeing QPS’s success only reinforces our vision of a future defined by more efficient policing, increased time in the field for officers, and a strengthened bond of trust between agencies and the citizens they protect.”

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