Police body worn video recordings (FOI)
Police body worn video recordings (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 29 January 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
It is my understanding that the States of Jersey Police have trialled and are now using Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras. My request is that you provide a copy of all video recorded using these cameras from the beginning of the trial period, continuing through to today's date of January 16 2015.
I am mindful that there are exemptions to the FOI law which exclude information which "...could prejudice a criminal investigation" or which "...could endanger national security or it is, or relates to, information recieved from intelligence organisations." I don't plan to challenge this as it is completely reasonable. I am happy to trust the judgement of the person or persons processing my request to exclude any video which should be exempt.
I am also mindful of the limitations of the FOI law and in anticipation that the processing time for my request may be lengthy, I would be willing to accept a copy of all video from the earliest records you have stored until you reach 12 and a half hours total processing time. Further, as video file sizes may be quite large, I would like to limit the maximum amount of video provided in response to my request to a maximum of two terabytes (2TB). I am happy to supply digital storage in the form of a powered USB drive for copying the files to if this would facilitate the processing of my request.
You are correct in your observation that the States of Jersey Police have trialled and are now using Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras. It is the policy of the States of Jersey police, which is mirrored by UK forces using such equipment, to retain any footage / data recorded for a maximum period of 30 days unless the footage / data is to be used for evidential purposes. We therefore do not hold any footage / data that is over 30 days old unless it is of evidential nature.
Evidential material held is subject to one of the following exemptions from disclosure:
The Absolute Exemptions provided by Article 24 and Article 25; or Article 42, the Qualified Exemption of Law Enforcement.
Any footage / data that is held on the system that is less than 30 days old that has been identified as ‘Evidential’, will be exempt as above.
Non evidential material, less than 30 days old.
It is the policy of the States of Jersey Police only to record during the passage of an incident where the officer believes such a recording will provide necessary corroboration. The BWV camera does not record continuously. As such, any non-evidential material recorded will include images of a third party. This footage / data will be exempt from disclosure under Article 25, Personal Information.
Public Interest Test.
Article 42 is a Qualified Exemption which requires a public interest test to determine if the information should or should not be released.
To perform this test, we have to decide not what the public would be interested in but what is in the public interest. A balance test is completed between the perceived harm caused by any release and the benefit to the public.
Whilst it is the intention of the law to encourage openness within public authorities and enshrines in law the publics ‘right to know’ certain information, the law recognises that the release of certain information may be harmful to the rights of the individual or, as for this exemption, the due process of law. To release data that is retained for evidential purposes may cause irretrievable damage to any ongoing investigation or pending prosecution.
With this in mind, [we] find that the public interest test for disclosure is not passed and as a result, no footage or data from Body Worn Video cameras will be released.
24 Court information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is held by a scheduled public authority only by virtue of being contained in a document:
(a) filed with, or otherwise placed in the custody of, a court; or
(b) served upon, or by, the scheduled public authority, in proceedings in a particular cause or matter.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is held by a scheduled public authority only by virtue of being contained in a document created by –
(a) a court; or
(b) a member of the administrative staff of a court, in proceedings in a particular cause or matter.
(3) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is held by a scheduled public authority only by virtue of being contained in a document –
(a) placed in the custody of; or
(b) created by, a person conducting an inquiry or arbitration, for the purposes of the inquiry or arbitration.
(4) In this Article:
“arbitration” means arbitration to which Part 2 of the Arbitration (Jersey) Law 1998 applies;
“court” includes any tribunal in which legal proceedings may be brought;
“inquiry” means an inquiry or a hearing held under an enactment;
“proceedings in a particular cause or matter” includes an inquest or post-mortem examination.
25 Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if:
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
42 Law enforcement
Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice:
(a) the prevention, detection or investigation of crime, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, whether in respect of offences committed in Jersey or elsewhere;
(c) the administration of justice, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(d) the assessment or collection of a tax or duty or of an imposition of a similar nature;
(e) the operation of immigration controls, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other institutions where persons are lawfully detained;
(g) the proper supervision or regulation of financial services; or
(h) the exercise, by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, of any function imposed on it by any enactment.