DP16578 De-escalation technology: the impact of body-worn cameras on citizen-police interactions

Author(s): Daniel Barbosa, Thiemo Fetzer, Pedro CL Souza, Caterina Vieira
Publication Date: September 2021
Date Revised: September 2021
Keyword(s): field experiment, police citizen interaction, technology, use-of-force
JEL(s): C93, D73, D74
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16578

We provide experimental evidence that monitoring of the police activity through body-worn cameras reduces use-of-force, handcuffs and arrests, and enhances criminal reporting. Stronger treatment effects occur on events classified ex-ante of low seriousness. Monitoring effects are moderated by officer rank, which is consistent with a career concern motive by junior officers. Overall, results show that the use of body-worn cameras de-escalates conflicts.