We are asking people to hold the four fingers of their right hand high, palm facing out, with the thumb tucked across the palm, whenever they encounter the police. The gesture offers an invitation to the police to respond making the same sign back to indicate their agreement.
The four fingers signify the four words, When No One’s Watching and the four aims of the WNOW campaign.
1. That all police officers must have body-worn video/audio devices switched on while engaged with members of the public.
2. That all police vehicles must have video devices switched on when carrying members of the public.
3.That all custody suites and cells must have video/audio devices switched on when members of the public are present.
4.That all video/audio device content that relates to members of the public must be made available to them on request.
These aims seek to protect the public and the police by providing an independent evidential record upon which all involved can rely.
The campaign is not based on an ‘us and them’ attitude, nor is it against the police, it is against violence and those patterns of behaviour and practices that undermine human dignity and human rights. However, as the police bear statutory power with inadequate monitoring, this poses a more potent threat to the public.
Nevertheless the sign should not be used as an act of aggression. It is a symbol of that which would lead to the highest standards and the most positive relations between the public and the police.
Be calm and polite. Remember that these reforms will benefit the police as well as the public and so they offer you the chance of a positive sharing of views with the aim hopefully of winning over the police to offer their support.
Please send us details of your experiences when making this sign to the police and any dialogue you have with them. For your own protection, we advise that preferably you should have a recording device with you, audio being probably better at present than video because of the police mis-applying the terrorist legislation to outlaw videoing. It is important too that you make the police aware that any encounter and dialogue you have with them is being audio recorded.
WNOW WILL BE WORKING NOW TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE RELEVANT BODIES THAT CAN BRING ABOUT THESE REFORMS. ANY HELP YOU CAN PROVIDE TO THIS END WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
The following recommendation under Rule 43 was put to the Coroner by the family of Mikey Powell’s legal representatives following the jury verdict on 18th December 2009 into his death in police custody. ------------ (v) Recording within police vans
The jury’s task in this inquest would have been made much easier had there been video and audio recording from within the police van of Mr Powell’s transportation from Wilton Street to Thornhill Road. Such recording may well lead to the prevention of further deaths as officers would know – as with custody suite recording – that their movements were being captured, and it would lead to greater general transparency. The Coroner was invited to make a Rule 43 recommendation in this regard.
We would also refer to the ‘Four Finger Campaign’ which advocates that all officers are fitted with cameras which are running when ever they are in contact with a member of the public. The recommedations can be viewed at : http://bit.ly/4GqFcI