AS A CRIME THAT OFTEN TAKES PLACE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, STATISTICS REGARDING THE VOLUME OF INCIDENTS ARE BELIEVED TO BE GROSSLY UNDER-REPRESENTATIVE OF THE TOTAL OF INCIDENTS THAT OCCUR. DESPITE THIS, IT IS STILL RECORDED AS ACCOUNTING FOR 8% OF TOTAL REPORTED CRIME IN THIS COUNTRY AND 14% OF COURT PROSECUTIONS.
On average, police respond to a call about a domestic abuse incident every 30 seconds. These crimes have the highest recurrence rate in the country. It is believed that an average victim will have been assaulted thirty-five times before they themselves call the police.
It isn’t just the direct victims and their loved ones that suffer at the hands of domestic abuse perpetrators. On average, two women a week and thirty men each year are murdered in a domestic incident. Each of these murders costs the country in excess of £1million and it has been estimated that the financial burden these crimes place on the country is in excess of £23billion.
To help the victims and reduce the drain these perpetrators put on the public purse, we need to ensure we have a strong evidential base to bring these people to justice whilst minimising the trauma their victim’s experience.
It is in the gathering of evidence to support these prosecutions and to avoid adding to the victims’ trauma that the use of B-Cam body worn video cameras can assist. If a first responder or domestic abuse specialist wears the device, then the camera can act as an independent observer of the interactions between the victim and alleged abuser.
These images can provide photographic evidence of any physical injuries and damage to property in the immediate aftermath of an incident. They also provide audio and video recording of the victim at the time of the incident, prior to the opportunity for further intimidation by the perpetrator.
The Crown Prosecution Service will proceed with prosecution against the accused abuser, even in the event that the victim withdraws their statement, if they have sufficient evidence to have a realistic prospect of conviction and if the case is deemed in the public interest. The tamperproof design of the B-Cam camera and its specialist software means that its recordings are secure and fully admissible as evidence in criminal proceedings.
We need to reduce the impact of domestic abuse on its victims and society as a whole. B-Cam body worn video cameras can assist us in achieving this.