This article provides a commentary of Northamptonshire Police’s 10 year body worn video (BWV) journey from a small pilot in 2006 to a highly developed position whereby BWV is culturally accepted and embedded across the force (with the exception of firearms officers). We can describe how a network of respected and influential ‘Champions’ positively promoted the use of BWV, demonstrated its value through operational use, and provided coaching support to drive the cultural acceptance and use. The availability of digital evidence is increasing and is growing in significance, and this brings with it a number of challenges. In order to combat this specific issue, Northamptonshire police have tried to create and maintain a device-agnostic BWV solution, which acknowledges that the technology is rapidly changing and requires flexibility. This is not unique to BWV technology, as these same issues exist in terms of mobile device extraction, CCTV, etc.
Through the development and maintenance of their own internal supporting infrastructure, Northamptonshire Police have developed and been able to operate this solution to good effect. This system has benefited many other areas where digital evidence is key, and has permitted us the ability to keep abreast of technological developments, while also being involved in national debate and industry working groups to help influence the progression and development of BWV. The Force operationally uses 10 different makes/models of camera that collectively provide a source of digital evidence alongside other ‘independent digital witnesses’, such as CCTV and mobile phone images. These are also in part stored and managed within the same supporting system. This provides enormous flexibility to those working within the Force, by permitting evidence to be downloaded at any terminal for investigators to view it at any other force computer, and to potentially share it with other agencies within the criminal justice system.