Bodycams

In the research project Bodycams, financed by the Police & Science programme, legal psychologist Dr. Annelies Vredeveldt and criminal law scholar Linda Kesteloo, LL.M. investigate the influence of bodycams on the evidence in criminal cases.

The use of bodyworn cameras (bodycams) for police officers is getting more and more popular in The Netherlands and abroad. The primary reasons for introducing bodycams are to prevent unwanted behaviour by both police officers and civilians, and to increase transparency regarding police actions. A potential side effect could be that wearing a bodycam, or subsequently viewing the bodycam footage, could affect the content of police reports about witnessed incidents.

The aim of this research project is to gain insight into the influence of bodycams, worn by police officers, on the evidence in criminal cases. That goal is summarized in the following main research question, consisting of three empirical and one legal sub-question.

Main question

How do bodycams influence the content of the police report and what are the consequences for the evidence in criminal cases?

Sub-questions

  1. How does viewing bodycam footage before writing a police report influence the completeness and accuracy of the information in the police report?
  2. Does the police officer’s perspective (bodycam wearer or filmed party) play a role in the influence of viewing bodycam footage on the content of the police report?
  3. How do police officers adapt their original reports after they have viewed bodycam footage?
  4. What role can bodycam footage play as evidence in criminal cases?