Body cam footage to be released by South Yorkshire Police to show 'full picture'

Body cam footage captured by police officers in South Yorkshire is to be released to show the reality of what they face in the line of duty.

Friday, 30th October 2020, 11:40 am

The South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said footage is to be made public ‘to help balance out the portrayal of police actions in the media’.

Chairman Steve Kent said it will ‘ensure the full picture of arrests and incidents is presented to the outside world’.

The move comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel urged forces to release more footage to stop ‘armchair critics’ blasting officers for their actions on the frontline without seeing incidents in context.

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Body cam footage filmed by officers is to be released by South Yorkshire Police to provide context to incidents

Mr Kent said: “How many incidents have we seen across the country where things have clearly been misrepresented when a full view of the footage and, or, seeing it from a different perspective would show it in a totally different light?

“It’s vital for public confidence that they can see what police officers are doing in these scenarios and not have to draw conclusions from a false narrative.

“The force is not going to say, ‘we’ll release everything’, but they’ll do it on a case-by-case basis.

“I’m reassured by their stance. They see the value, and if there’s a high profile incident in South Yorkshire, they would definitely look at releasing footage to try and put our side of things across.

“They are reluctant to say they’ll release everything all the time, as they want to retain the editorial rights, which I would expect anybody to want. I don’t think there’s a problem with that.”

Mr Kent added: “Almost every day I see some footage usually on social media which may show a short piece of footage of an interaction with police.

"What frustrates me and lot of our officers is that the footage rarely shows the full picture.

"Officers have now for some time carried body warn video. This is important in maintaining public confidence but from my perspective it is even more important in protecting officers from the unfortunate frequent false and vexatious complaints made against them.”