Police Body Worn Camera: Disclosure and Identification Issues

Police Body Worn Camera: Disclosure and Identification Issues


In conducting an investigation, the investigator should pursue all reasonable lines of inquiry, whether these point towards or away from the suspect- Code of Practice CPIA paragraph 3.5 Reasonable enquiries might involve a trawl for bodyworn camera evidence (akin to CCTV trawl or ANPR trawl etc)

RETENTION It is important that bodyworn camera evidence is preserved for a reasonable period of time on the basis that it might become relevant material in any criminal investigation Criminal investigation in respect of which the officer with bodyworn camera is in attendance

or another investigation ABUSE OF PROCESS The criminal proceedings might be stayed for abuse of process if relevant bodyworn camera evidence is destroyed The burden of proof is on the defence to prove that a fair trial is not possible

In any event, opportunities to bolster the prosecution case will be lost RELEVANT MATERIAL Once bodyworn camera footage is identified as relevant to an investigation, it must be retained by the investigator (Code of Practice CPIA paragraph 5.1)

Retention for the time periods in paragraphs 5.7- 5.10: NFA decision/ acquittal or 6 months after conviction or on the defendants release from custody (if later than 6 months after conviction ) All relevant footage must be scheduled on MG6C

EVIDENTIAL FOOTAGE Page 16 National File Standard (part of Directors Guidance on Charging) Copies of the footage must accompany the prosecution file and be served as Initial Details of the Prosecution Case (IDPC) i.e. first appearance Nothing is more likely to trigger an admission

and a guilty plea than the inclusion of this Any footage that establishes the offence should be shown to the suspect in an interview IDENTIFICATION ISSUES PITFALLS

Where identification is in issue (or might be in issue) in the criminal prosecution, extreme care must be taken where it is intended to show the footage to witnesses NO KNOWN SUSPECT (1) The bodyworn camera footage is akin to CCTV. There will be occasions where it is

appropriate to show the footage to persons (usually police officers) for the purposes of recognition This must be done in accordance with PACE Code D 3.34- 3.37 NO KNOWN SUSPECT (2) D3.34- 3.37: persons must view the footage

individually; no collusion; no names should be suggested; a contemporaneous record should be made of the viewing on which the court can gauge the reliability of the recognition Wherever possible, avoid showing the footage to eye witnesses: the weight to be attached to any subsequent positive

identification at parade will be reduced KNOWN SUSPECT The footage can be shown to persons who are not non-eye witnesses for the purposes of recognition even where there is a known suspect (i.e. at stage where there is sufficient evidence to arrest a suspect). Viewing

procedure must comply with D3.34- 3.37 At known suspect stage, the footage must not be shown to eye witnesses ANY QUESTIONS

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