Would a greater use of Body Worn Video (BWV) and review of the footage reduce the disproportionate use of stop and search powers by the police against Black men, in turn leading to increased trust in the police

  • Chelsea Thomas

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Stop and search powers are used disproportionally against Black men in England and Wales (GOV.UK, 2021). Numerous policies and initiatives to tackle disproportionality have been introduced and failed, with disproportionate use of stop and search powers recently increasing. This research aims to consider Black men’s and police opinions of the use of Body worn video (BWV) in all stop and search encounters and their supervision. The views of Black men and police respondents were obtained by way of online surveys and telephone semi structured interviews. Overall, the Black male and police participants identified numerous positives if the police use BWV in all stop and search encounters, particularly with regard to improving police behaviour during the interaction. Despite the positives identified, the Black men participants recognise the significant weaknesses in the BWV policies and procedures. Officers’ however dispute disproportionate police practices in stop and search occur relying on the use of BWV as a reason why racist/unlawful behaviour cannot occur.

The Black men participants believe the supervision of stop and search interactions would have numerous benefits including reducing disproportionate stop and search practices and of increasing the chances of the police reconsidering the decision to undertake the stop and search.

It is concluded that there are numerous positives to both the use of BWV and supervision of BWV in stop and search encounters, however those positives are limited and subject to significant weakness in the BWV and supervision policies.
Date of Award19 Jan 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMelanie Flynn (Main Supervisor) & Chris Cameron (Co-Supervisor)

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