Study shows body cameras slash complaints against officers

FILE- In this Jan. 15, 2014 file photo, a Los Angeles Police officer wears an on-body camera during a demonstration for media in Los Angeles. Some Los Angeles police officers are now equipped with the body cameras while on patrol. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff says Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 that the first wave of 860 cameras has been rolled out to more than 100 Mission Division officers who patrol the San Fernando Valley. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

LONDON (AP) — A study of British and U.S. police by Cambridge University shows a 93 percent decrease in the number of complaints made against officers when they are using body cameras.

Researchers suggest that cameras encourage best behavior on the part of both the officers and the public.

The study involved West Midlands Police, West Yorkshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Police Service of Northern Ireland and departments in Ventura, California, and Rialto, California. Some 2,000 officers and 1.4 million working hours were studied over a year.

Barak Ariel, who led the research, says the idea behind the study is simple: people who are being observed — and know it — change their behavior.

Ariel says that “everyone is recording the police except themselves. Now we have something from the officer’s point of view.”

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