‘Body cam­eras have cut crime’

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - SCHOOL SHOUT - By Gavin Roberts

PO­LICE to­day hailed the in­tro­duc­tion of body cam­eras which catch crim­i­nals in the act.

Grampian Po­lice re­vealed that of the cases which used the videos as ev­i­dence, 90% re­sulted in a guilty plea.

The fig­ures were an­nounced to­day a year af­ter the cam­eras started be­ing used, at­tached to of­fi­cers’ vests.

Chief Insp Nick Top­ping said: “We’re de­lighted by the dif­fer­ence the body-worn video cam­eras have made.

“As an ev­i­dence-gather­ing tool they have sur­passed our ini­tial ex­pec­ta­tions and the re­sults speak for them­selves.

“The cam­eras take clear and ac­cu­rate dig­i­tal video and can pro­vide po­ten­tially cru­cial ev­i­dence.”

Chief Insp Top­ping said footage from the cam­eras had helped bring about early guilty pleas.

“That means of­fi­cers spend­ing less time in court and more time mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in their com­mu­nity,” he said.

“It is es­ti­mated that they have con­trib­uted to around 110 po­lice of­fi­cers and 54 mem­bers of the pub­lic not hav­ing to ap­pear at court to give ev­i­dence.”

Ini­tially 18 state-of-the-art cam­eras – funded through the Fairer Scot­land Fund – were is­sued to Aberdeen’s Lo­cal Polic­ing Teams in June 2010.

This was fur­ther in­creased to 43 fol­low­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing again be­ing made through Fairer Scot­land.

Chief Insp Top­ping said t he force was grate­ful for the cash al­low­ing them to buy the cam­eras.

The cam­eras are worn on the up­per body and have been used as part of a range of po­lice work, in­clud­ing city cen­tre pa­trols, dur­ing drugs search war­rants and as a dash­board cam­era in po­lice ve­hi­cles. Chief Insp Top­ping added: “These cam­eras can be used in a va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions and have proven their worth time and again. “We are ex­tremely pleased with the re­sults that have been achieved over the first year and will con­tinue to utilise this tech­nol­ogy not only to help de­tect crime but also to pro­vide an ex­tra layer of trans­parency and accountability.

“In ad­di­tion they have also af­forded of­fi­cers ex­tra pro­tec­tion.”

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