Body worn equipment for Met Police
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.