OF­FI­CERS ARMED WITH BODY-WORN CAM­ERAS

Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette - - Front Page - KATHER­INE CLEMENTINE by kather­ine.clementine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @KC_Journo

FRONT­LINE firearms of­fi­cers will be kit­ted out with body cam­eras in a bid to “in­crease ac­count­abil­ity” across Lon­don’s po­lice force.

The Metropoli­tan Po­lice Ser­vice an­nounced that overt firearms of­fi­cers have been is­sued head mounted cam­eras as part of the roll­out of Body Worn Video (BWV) in the cap­i­tal.

The cam­eras are be­ing is­sued to all armed re­sponse units in the Firearms Com­mand, al­low­ing them to wear the new tech­nol­ogy on their base­ball caps and bal­lis­tic hel­mets.

The Firearms Com­mand will re­ceive around 1,000 Axon Flex 2 cam­eras to encompass the ad­di­tional firearms of­fi­cers re­cruited as part of Op­er­a­tion Her­cules.

Com­man­der Matt Twist, in charge of the Firearms Com­mand, said: “Of­fi­cers who carry an overt firearm as part of their role very much wel­come the use of Body Worn Video.

“It pro­vides a doc­u­mented and ac­cu­rate ac­count of the threats of­fi­cers face and the split second de­ci­sions they make.

“The cam­eras also of­fer greater trans­parency for those in front of the cam­era as well as those be­hind it.”

So far, more than 17,500 BWV cam­eras have been rolled out in Lon­don – the largest roll­out of body worn cam­eras by po­lice in the world.

The cam­eras have al­ready been is­sued to front­line of­fi­cers in 30 of the 32 bor­oughs, to of­fi­cers from the Roads and Trans­port Polic­ing Com­mand, the Ter­ri­to­rial Sup­port Group and the Dog Sup­port Unit.

The re­main­ing bor­oughs will be is­sued with BWV prior to the Au­gust bank hol­i­day week­end.

Mayor of Lon­don Sadiq Khan said: “Body Worn Video is a huge step for­ward in bring­ing our cap­i­tal’s po­lice force into the 21st cen­tury and build­ing trust and con­fi­dence in the city’s polic­ing.

“This tech­nol­ogy is help­ing to drive down com­plaints against of­fi­cers across Lon­don and will make a real dif­fer­ence to those car­ry­ing firearms, in­creas­ing ac­count­abil­ity and help­ing to gather bet­ter ev­i­dence for swifter jus­tice.

“As we com­plete the Lon­don-wide roll­out, the cam­eras will also pro­vide our of­fi­cers with con­fi­dence in the trans­parency of their ac­tions, as they con­tinue their great work on the front­line fight­ing crime and keep­ing our city safe.”

Metropoli­tan Po­lice say the cam­eras have the potential to help bring speed­ier jus­tice for vic­tims, by in­creas­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties for ob­tain­ing early guilty pleas be­cause of­fend­ers know their ac­tions have been recorded.

Since Septem­ber 2016, of­fi­cers have recorded al­most 785,000 videos, of which 460,000 have been auto-deleted from the sys­tem as per the MPS pol­icy on re­ten­tion of footage.

The MPS is the only UK po­lice force dig­i­tally shar­ing BWV with the Crown Prose­cu­tion Ser­vice (CPS), with of­fi­cers now rou­tinely sub­mit­ting more than 3,000 clips a month, lead­ing to speed­ier jus­tice and sav­ing on time and cost of of­fi­cers burn­ing and safely dis­tribut­ing around 6,000 discs.

All footage recorded on BWV is sub­ject to le­gal safe­guards and guid­ance and can be viewed by the pub­lic un­der free­dom of in­for­ma­tion and data pro­tec­tion laws.

The cam­eras are worn at­tached to the of­fi­cer’s uni­form and do not per­ma­nently record.

The body cam­eras aim to make firearms of­fi­cers more ac­count­able

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