‘Body cameras have cut crime’
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.”