Though body cameras may seem like a net win for everyone, a new seemingly counter-intuitive analysis of body camera usage by police in the U.S. and the U.K. reveals that police officers are actually more likely to be assaulted when they use them.
The new studies, published simultaneously Tuesday by the European Journal of Criminology and the Journal of Experimental Criminology, show that the jury is still out on the effectiveness of body cameras, raising questions about how they should be implemented by law enforcement.
On average, assaults against police officers increases by 15 percent when body cameras are worn, according to the new research. In addition, the rate of violence imposed on citizens by officers remained largely unchanged. However, if officers turned their cameras on and off during their shift, using the technology at their own discretion, the likelihood they would use physical force spiked.
But, if the officers left their body cameras on throughout the duration of their work, the rate of violence decreased.