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The effects of body-worn cameras (BWCs) on police and citizen outcomes: A state-of-the-art review

Jon Maskaly (Criminology Program, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, USA)
Christopher Donner (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Wesley G. Jennings (School of Criminal Justice, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA)
Barak Ariel (Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Alex Sutherland (RAND Europe, Cambridge, UK)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 20 November 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the extant of the published literature on body-worn cameras (BWCs) in policing, specifically in the context of how BWCs affect both citizens and officers.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study is a narrative review of the impact of BWCs on police and citizens generated through a search of four repositories (Google Scholar, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Host, PsychInfo).

Findings

The current narrative review identified 21 articles that matched the selection criteria. In general, this body of research demonstrates that: the police are supportive of BWC adoption; the evidence from BWC evaluations suggests that the use of BWCs can have benefits for police-public encounters.

Practical implications

The practical implications derived from this narrative review suggest police administrators that the adoption and effective implementation of BWCs are one mechanism that can strengthen police-community relationships and decrease police misconduct through enhanced legitimacy and accountability.

Originality/value

This study is useful for researchers who wish to further examine BWC issues in policing, for police managers/administrators who are currently utilizing BWC technology, and for those who are considering adopting BWC technology.

Keywords

Citation

Maskaly, J., Donner, C., Jennings, W.G., Ariel, B. and Sutherland, A. (2017), "The effects of body-worn cameras (BWCs) on police and citizen outcomes: A state-of-the-art review", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 672-688. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-03-2017-0032

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited