A senior person in charge said that police officers wearing body cameras have reduced the number of suspects in West Yorkshire, and figures show that the discharge rate has declined. Assistant Chief Police Officer Andy Battle said that when the camera is turned on, people will “change their behavior”, thereby reducing the Taser incident by 27% in 2017. In 2016, the West Yorkshire Police Department launched the Portable Video Recorder (BWV), which is used by troops throughout the UK. The ACC campaign stated that officers use "less power", but they will still use Tasers.
West Yorkshire Police recorded 78 incidents where a Taser was discharged in 2016, falling to 57 in 2017 - a 27% drop.
This is despite a 26% increase in incidents where the device has been required in some way, including being drawn and aimed but not fired.
The cameras are clipped to an officer's uniform and switched on during patrols or at the scene of an incident, with staff trained to inform suspects they are being filmed.
West Yorkshire Police has 2,300 of the 63,000 cameras used by police officers across the UK.
ACC Battle said: "Evidence suggests people realise there'll be an independent record of what's happened so people modify their behaviour.
"They're less likely to be violent and that in turn means that officers are less likely to use force to resolve the situation.
"Suspects are aware that they're being recorded and that's helping officers to use less force to resolve [incidents] safely, I don't think this is a case of officers being reluctant to use Tasers at all."
Body-worn video was first used in Britain by Devon and Cornwall police in 2006.
The Metropolitan Police NOW has the highest number of BWV cameras in the UK (21,000), with Greater Manchester Police second (4,000) and Avon & Somerset Constabulary third (2,500).
A privacy group has raised some concerns, including a "lack of rules and regulations" about its use with police forces.
Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said: "We would like to see strict guidelines in how and why police use BWV, at the moment police turn cameras on as and when they feel its appropriate.
"We feel it needs to be much clearer than that and it there needs to be clear rules in using this technology to make sure it's fair."
Contact Person: Ms. Fiona