Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are increasingly installing video surveillance equipment in police cars. Despite cuts in federal and state funding over 2009 and 2010, the market for mobile video surveillance equipment in police cars is forecast to grow at an average of 6.5% a year to 2013, according to a new report from IMS Research (

While funding cuts are expected to slow market growth over the next two years, the long term outlook is optimistic. Currently U.S. police agencies can apply for approximately $4 billion in grant funding. Additionally, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is likely to provide funding for police agencies, driving growth from 2011 onwards.

There is also plenty of opportunity in this market, with 18,000 independent municipalities in the U.S., each capable of purchasing mobile video surveillance equipment. With over 40% of the 450,000 police cars in America already fitted with digital video surveillance, penetration in the U.S. is higher than most other countries. This has resulted in the U.S. accounting for more than 80% of the global market.

Market analyst at IMS Research, Niall Jenkins, told Zalud’s Blog, “Video surveillance in police cars is becoming much more common as police departments see the benefits it can bring. The video is primarily used as evidence, with watermarking or similar verification techniques used to guarantee that the video has not been tampered with. However, video can also be used to defend the conduct of a police officer against any complaints made. It is also possible for the officer to flag a recording for review back at the station. This is usually part of a training and evaluation program.”