Body-worn cam­eras to be ex­tended in bor­ough

Around 250 Hilling­don po­lice of­fi­cers to get record­ing equip­ment af­ter suc­cess­ful trial

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE Metropoli­tan Po­lice’s new body-worn cam­era scheme has been rolled out to around 250 of­fi­cers in Hilling­don.

Mon­day (Jan­uary 9) marked the of­fi­cial launch of the scheme in the bor­ough, aimed to bring faster con­vic­tions and to guar­an­tee the pro­fes­sional be­hav­iour of of­fi­cers.

Cam­eras will be at­tached to of­fi­cers’ uni­forms and have proved to be ef­fected in do­mes­tic abuse cases, as of­fend­ers of­ten ad­mit crimes ear­lier when they know they have been recorded, the Met said.

It is hoped the cam­eras will be used to re­as­sure the pub­lic that po­lice are con­duct­ing them­selves pro­fes­sion­ally, in­clud­ing dur­ing con­tentious ac­tions like stop and search.

Chief In­spec­tor Richard Wil­son, from Hayes Po­lice Station, said: “Body Worn Video will sup­port our of­fi­cers in the many chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions they have to deal with, at the same time as build­ing the pub­lic’s con­fi­dence.

“Hilling­don was a trial site for the cam­eras and this was a huge suc­cess, build­ing trust in polic­ing, re­duc­ing com­plaints against po­lice and in­creas­ing the num­ber of con­vic­tions at court, in some cases sav­ing the vic­tims the need to pro­vide ev­i­dence at court.

“Video cap­tures events in a way that can­not 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.” All recorded footage is aut au­to­mat­i­cally up­loaded to sec se­cure servers once the de­vice is doc docked and can be flagged for use as ev­i­dence.

A Any video that is not used in cou court or for polic­ing pur­poses is de deleted au­to­mat­i­cally within 31 da days. The pub­lic can view foo footage taken of them by mak­ing a writ­ten re­quest us­ing Fr Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion, as lo long as it is within 31 days un un­less it has been kept by po po­lice.

Cam­eras will not be per­ma­nently record­ing and mem­bers of the pub­lic will be told ‘as soon as prac­ti­cal’ that the cam­era is on.

A flash­ing red cir­cle in the cen­tre of the cam­era will be an in­di­ca­tion of record­ing, as well as a fre­quent beep. Body-worn cam­eras will be rolled out across all of Lon­don’s 32 bor­oughs in the com­ing months, with 22,000 be­ing handed out to po­lice, in­clud­ing firearms of­fi­cers.

VIDEO EV­I­DENCE: Cam­eras will be at­tached to of­fi­cers’ uni­forms

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