THE rise in members of the public posting out-of-context clips of police interactions on social media is “completely unfair” and gives a “distorted” view of what happened, according to Hampshire Police Federation.
Chair Zoë Wakefield said forces should be able to release officers’ body-worn video where legally possible, to show a fuller picture.
She explained: “It’s completely unfair on those officers. What’s being posted normally isn’t the full story, it’s a distorted view of what’s actually happened.
“We should be posting the full story and allowing the public to make up their own minds as to who was at fault.
“Some people will see these out-of-context clips and because of the way the clip has been edited, will think: ‘Obviously the police officers were out of order’, but when they see the full picture they might change their view and think, ‘Actually I can see the other side of the story now’.”
Zoë said although these clips had a nasty impact on the officers involved, they should “carry on doing what they’re doing” and that the Federation would support them through it.
She added: “For the majority of complaints we get, body-worn video negates them – since we’ve had body-worn video it’s made a huge difference in negating complaints.
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Chair Martin Hewitt has described the clips as a “hideous phenomenon”.
He said: “There’s a real opportunity to get some guidance out quickly here… to make sure everyone understands the parameters. It’s also about the mindset that we are going to do everything that we can do positively to counter some of the nonsense that we see.”