Body Worn Video

Body worn video (BWV) is a joint project between Dorset Police and Devon and Cornwall Police to equip officers with an audio and video recording device. The aim is to provide cameras to all operational front line officers with the initial roll out beginning on the 28 August.

The motivation for the implementation of these cameras has always been evidential. They will provide an unbiased record of what an officer has experienced. The cameras will be used to record the majority of incidents and encounters, making the police more transparent and officers’ actions more accountable



No - Officers will switch the camera on to capture a specific incident. The camera will not be used to film people indiscriminately.

Officers will use video to record these incidents (and others where necessary for policing purposes):

• Stop and search or stop and account

• Stopping a motor vehicle

• Attending premises to make an arrest

• Searching premises/land/vehicles

And also in other critical incidents where:

• Someone uses force against a another person or property

• Giving an order to an individual or group under any statutory power

• Where domestic abuse or modern slavery may be suspected.

Material is recorded on to a hard drive inside the camera. The recorded material is later uploaded to secure police computer systems for use as evidence at court or other proceedings.

Any recorded material not used as evidence is automatically deleted after 31 days. This limit is agreed within the Management of Police Information (MoPI) guidelines around retention of digital evidence following consultation with the Information Commissioner’s office.

Police officers should, as soon as practicable, tell people they are being recorded.

Officers will clearly state when a recording starts and ends, unless the situation means it’s not possible to do so.

When recording, the cameras have a flashing red light.

Officers do not have to obtain your consent to record.

In most circumstances non-evidential material is kept for a maximum of 31 days and footage cannot be disclosed to third parties without your approval, unless it is required by law.

The only exception to this is stop and search where police can show stop and search film to independent community monitoring groups for scrutiny.

No - There is no editing or deletion facility on the camera and they are fully encrypted.

Once at the police station, the recorded material is automatically uploaded to secure police computer systems when the officer places the camera into its docking station.

Once uploaded, the footage cannot usually be altered or deleted by anyone, and unless marked as evidential material for retention is automatically deleted after 31 days.

The officer can use their discretion to record or not, however they will have to justify their decision, when using the camera the officer will consider if the recording is necessary and proportionate given the circumstances they are in.

Yes, you can ask an officer to record if they are not already doing so.

Officers should do this unless there are clear reasons not to.

They should also remind you that unless there is an evidential reason to retain the recorded material, it will be automatically deleted after 31 days.

Yes - Recorded material gathered with a body worn camera counts as police information.

As such it can be obtained with a written request under data protection law.

For further information on accessing recorded material please click here.

Under common law police officers and staff can make a recording both in public and in private premises without your consent so long as it is proportionate, legitimate and necessary.

Recorded material that is subsequently not used as police evidence is only retained for 31 days, so any complaints would need to be made soon after the incident in question.

That will ensure the material is retained as needed for any follow-up investigation in relation to your complaint.

For information on how to make a complaint please click here.

Our cameras’ are encrypted to protect the information contained on them in the event of it being lost.

Our police officers and staff are still required make written notes as usual so there will be a record of the incident whether the camera has operated effectively or not.

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