Law enforcement transcription – Transcribing police body camera footage

Law enforcement transcription – Transcribing police body camera footage

A legal transcription company provides stellar work for a wide range of industries and organisations. This includes law enforcement transcription that helps with case notes, courtroom settings, and also in transforming audio and visual data from police body cameras into accurate, verbatim notes that police officers can refer back to at a later date. There are several advantages to hiring a professional legal transcription service, but before we get to that, it is important to gain a greater understanding of police body cameras and why they are used in everyday law enforcement.

Why are police body cameras used?

Body-worn video (BWV) cameras are small but visible and are worn by police officers, usually on their chest. These cameras are used to capture both audio and video evidence when officers are attending different types of incidents. In the UK, every officer who comes into contact with the general public is issued with these cameras. The position of the camera is designed so that any person looking back at the footage has as close an experience from the police officer’s perspective as is possible. The camera can act as an independent witness.


How the camera functions is that it will start capturing 60-second loops of video but no audio as soon as it is turned on. Once it is pressed to record, the previous 60 seconds are included in the saved recording and audio is also saved. The footage is then uploaded to a secure location to be used as evidence for a court date or other type of future legal proceeding, or it will be deleted if not required.

Police officers will use body cameras in the following circumstances:

  • Providing evidence in an investigation of an offence or a suspected offence
  • Offer transparency during stop and search events or when force is used
  • Assist police officers in submitting an accurate written report of an encounter or legal incident


Cameras are always used when:

  • Police officers go to arrest a suspect
  • When stopping a vehicle
  • When performing a stop-and-search
  • When searching residential property, land, or a vehicle
  • Attending a critical incident
  • Attending a domestic abuse response
  • Using force against a person or property

Benefits of transcription services for law firms and law enforcement

There are a few reasons why police departments use legal transcription services to transcribe video from cameras worn by police officers. The benefits are:


The Cost – It costs less for a police department to outsource the transcription of videos to a legal transcription service than to perform the task in-house. This would add time and strain to the internal administrative department of the police and cut down on the time that could be crucially used elsewhere.


Fast transcription – Professional transcriptionists can transcribe accurately at a fast pace, delivering your documents to you much faster than your internal administrative team might be able.


Accuracy – Accuracy is paramount when it comes to any legal document. When you are transcribing police body camera footage, it is important that it is 100% accurate, as the information will likely be used in an investigation and potentially in court at a later date. You require transparency and accurate documents in these cases.


Deepen the analysis – A transcription of police video footage allows an investigation to take shape, as it allows for a greater look at the visual and audio, to see what exactly happened during an incident and what was explicitly said by all parties. This helps to look at all angles of an incident


Police language and process – Another reason for the transcription of police body cameras is that it helps to continue police training in an age where there must be more sensitivity from the profession towards all people. Analysis of the language used during incidents can help train that specific police officer and other officers in how to manage a situation.

police body cam

Using a legal transcription company to transform video from police body cameras into verbatim notes is an important part of police work. It can be an integral part of an investigation, provide transparency and accuracy for both sides and ensure that the process of police work has a transparent framework that can be analysed and improved upon over time. Working with a legal transcription company that offers services for law enforcement departments helps to improve the quality of the services they offer.

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