The effects of body-worn cameras (BWCs) on police and citizen outcomes: A state-of-the-art review

Jon Maskaly*, Christopher Donner, Wesley G. Jennings, Barak Ariel, Alex Sutherland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the extant of the published literature on body-worn cameras (BWCs) in policing, specifically in the context of how BWCs affect both citizens and officers. Design/methodology/approach: The current study is a narrative review of the impact of BWCs on police and citizens generated through a search of four repositories (Google Scholar, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Host, PsychInfo). Findings: The current narrative review identified 21 articles that matched the selection criteria. In general, this body of research demonstrates that: the police are supportive of BWC adoption; the evidence from BWC evaluations suggests that the use of BWCs can have benefits for police-public encounters. Practical implications: The practical implications derived from this narrative review suggest police administrators that the adoption and effective implementation of BWCs are one mechanism that can strengthen police-community relationships and decrease police misconduct through enhanced legitimacy and accountability. Originality/value: This study is useful for researchers who wish to further examine BWC issues in policing, for police managers/administrators who are currently utilizing BWC technology, and for those who are considering adopting BWC technology.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)672-688
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Body-worn cameras (BWCs)
  • Police accountability
  • Police behaviour
  • Police legitimacy


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