Cam­era roll-out

Body worn equip­ment for Met Po­lice

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Lois Swin­ner­ton lois.swin­ner­ton@trin­i­tymir­

THE Metropoli­tan Po­lice will be placed on the global map to­day with the start of what is thought to be the largest roll-out of body-worn cam­eras by po­lice in the world.

Over 22,000 front­line of­fi­cers will take to the streets with the cam­eras, and all 32 of the Lon­don bor­oughs will be is­sued with the tech­nol­ogy over the com­ing months.

In Novem­ber last year, the Mayor’s Of­fice for Polic­ing and Crime awarded a three­year con­tract worth £3.4 mil­lion to Axon Pub­lic Safety UK Lim­ited, to sup­ply 22,000 cam­eras to the Met Po­lice. It fol­lows a suc­cess­ful trial over the course of 12 months across 10 Lon­don Bor­oughs in­clud­ing Brent.

The cam­eras have proved par­tic­u­larly suc­cess­ful in do­mes­tic abuse cases and also of­fer greater clar­ity for those both in front and be­hind the cam­era.

Metropoli­tan Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Sir Bernard Ho­gan-Howe says the cam­eras will be a great sup­port to of­fi­cers. He said: “Our ex­pe­ri­ence of us­ing cam­eras al­ready shows that peo­ple are more likely to plead guilty when they know we have cap­tured the in­ci­dent on a cam­era. That then speeds up jus­tice, puts of­fend­ers be­hind bars more quickly and most im­por­tantly pro­tects po­ten­tial vic­tims.

“Video cap­tures events in a way that can’t be rep­re­sented on pa­per in the same de­tail, a pic­ture paints a thou­sand words, and it has been shown the mere pres­ence of this type of video can often defuse po­ten­tially vi­o­lent sit­u­a­tions with­out the need for force to be used.”

The ini­tia­tive has been sup­ported by Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan who said it brings the force into the 21st cen­tury: “Body worn video is a huge step for­ward in bring­ing our cap­i­tal’s po­lice force into the 21st cen­tury and en­cour­ag­ing trust and con­fi­dence in com­mu­nity polic­ing. This tech­nol­ogy is al­ready help­ing drive down com­plaints against of­fi­cers and mak­ing them more ac­count­able, as well as help­ing to gather bet­ter ev­i­dence for swifter jus­tice.”

The de­ploy­ment of the cam­eras is ex­pected to be com­plete by next sum­mer, with the 22,000 de­vices be­ing dis­trib­uted as part of a phased ap­proach.

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