Body-Worn Cameras: A Secret Transparency Tool?

There are a lot of questions that we need answers to in fellow blogger and human rights activist Susan Goffe’s latest post. I must admit that this issue has crept up on me. This is actually a “pilot project” and a testing period for the cameras. There is a connection with the Zones of Special Operations recently established, although some police started wearing the cameras back in February (so then, what are the results so far?) It is all rather blurry and a lot more clarification is needed. An update on how the “pilot program” is going, at the very least. As for the protocols, I would think these certainly need to be shared with INDECOM.

Right Steps & Poui Trees

I remain concerned that to date the public has no idea what protocols govern the use of body-worn cameras  by police or soldiers in Jamaica, although these cameras are now being used by the police here. Body-worn cameras are widely regarded as a tool that may enhance accountability and transparency in policing, bringing an additional source of information about interactions between the police and the public. Inadequate protocols governing their use can, however, completely undermine any benefit to be derived from the wearing of such cameras. How can the Jamaican public know if the protocols governing use of body-worn cameras here are adequate, if we don’t know what those protocols are?

Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) Act & Body-Worn Cameras

The recently passed Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations)(Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, 2017 makes provision for the wearing of body-worn cameras by members of the Joint Forces…

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4 thoughts on “Body-Worn Cameras: A Secret Transparency Tool?

    1. You’re welcome! I am thankful that you are keeping a hawk-like eye on these matters, in such detail too. We need to be aware! I think it has “slipped” many of us – in fact I didn’t realise that police are now walking the streets or driving round with body cameras – since February?

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      1. It is so easy to forget to follow up on things. Suddenly time has passed and you wonder…what ever happened about that announcement or project? I think the initial number of body cameras was 120, but even that small number should have yielded some results worth analysing.

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      2. Exactly, Susan! I had it in mind (at the beginning of this year!!) to go back through my news update posts and follow up on some of the issues – but never got to it, and in fact I haven’t done any news updates for the past few weeks! Woe is me!!

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