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AMVBBDO, London / METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE / 2017
In November 2016 body worn video (BWV) cameras started to be rolled out to all public-facing Metropolitan Police officers. BWV devices are small, visible cameras, attached to officers’ uniform that capture both video and audio evidence.
For the 60” film, we set up a street fight situation using active police officers and actors to demonstrate how BWV would be beneficial for all. The position of the cameras allowed for those viewing the footage to see the situation from the two officers’ perspective. The audio statements from the witnesses after the incident, juxtapose with the recordings captured by the body-worn cameras. It aimed to show the difference between the personal perception of witnesses and images shot by a camera. In depicting a true-to-life incident that featured genuine police officers carrying out correct protocol, the narrative was delivered through an un-biased lens.
It was important to factor in the cultural context at the time; whereby there were a number of online videos of police conduct gaining social and media traction. These included mobile phone footage of arrests where officers used spit hoods or scenarios where car windows were smashed by officers to search a vehicle. These films contributed to a sense of distrust towards the Metropolitan Police by the target audience and therefore meant the campaign had to demonstrate the mutual benefits of BWV - to avoid police prejudice.
We identified the fundamental strength of body worn video; it acts as an independent witness to interactions between the police and public. Our creative sought to accurately demonstrate this. We wanted to tell Londoners that BWV will make the police more transparent and accountable. It’s very much a two way benefit.
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